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Brent Kelley

Report: Finchem to Announce on Sunday PGA Tour's Opposition to Anchor Ban

By February 23, 2013

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Back when the proposed USGA/R&A ban on anchoring a golf club into the body was first announced, most PGA Tour players - even most of those who disagreed with a ban - said they'd go along with it if, in fact, the ban went into effect in 2016.

No more. Opposition from PGA Tour players has grown in frequency and volume over the past couple months. That opposition culminated in two conference calls last week between PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and the Players Advisory Council and with the Tour Policy Board.

The outcome of those meetings will be made clear on Sunday, according to Golf.com's Michael Bamberger, when Finchem goes on television during the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship final to announce that the PGA Tour opposes the proposed anchoring ban.

Will Finchem be saying that the PGA Tour won't abide by a ban if one goes into effect? No, he'll be saying that the tour opposes the anchoring ban and does not want the USGA/R&A to follow through with implementing it.

Is this enough to kill the proposed ban? Maybe. The "comment period" on the proposed ban closes at the end of February, and it shouldn't be long until the USGA/R&A make a final announcement. In the meantime, we don't yet know how other pro tours feel about it, but we do know that the PGA of America also prefers that anchored belly putters and long putters remain within the rules to use for amateurs.

What happens if the USGA/R&A stick to their guns and announce the ban is moving forward, but, come 2016, the PGA Tour refuses to go along? Well, that's a road we don't want to go down: Different organizations implementing different rules at their pro events; perhaps even competing sets of rules or even the destruction of the concept of "governing bodies" for the sport. In short, it would be a mighty big mess.

But a big step in the resolution - one way or another - of the proposed anchoring ban comes Sunday when Finchem announces the PGA Tour's opposition.

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