In a very strange move by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, he weighed in on the anchored putter ban set forth by the USGA and R&A during the final of the Match Play Championship.
He is adamantly opposed to the ban. He is also backing the feelings of his players as 13 of the 15 members of the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council were against the ban.
Here are a few of his comments from Golf Channel:
We hold the USGA in the highest regard as a key part of the game of golf. We don't attempt to denigrate that position in any way whatsoever. It's just on this issue we think if they were to move forward, they would be making a mistake.
He also said he didn't know what the tour would do if the USGA and R&A followed through with their ban:
If USGA and R&A go through with proposed ban, Finchem said he doesn't want how Tour will respond. "We hope they take our view on it."— RonGreenJr (@RonGreenJr) February 24, 2013
This would involve going back to the players and running what action the PGA Tour would pursue through all the necessary channels.
He said he hopes the USGA will change its mind. He also said that if this decision was made in 1975 it would be "a no-brainer" in favor of banning, but that it's now become "a significant part of the game."
The following was the sentiment of a lot of golf writers:
Nothing all that surprising in what Finchem said. He's sticking up for his guys, as he should. Next move is from governing bodies post-2/28.— Adam Schupak (@GolfweekSchupak) February 24, 2013
The "governing bodies" Schupak is referencing are the USGA and R&A that will both reconvene in March after what was a 90-day "comment period."
I roll with Jay Coffin in what happens next:
Not sure why people are worked up over Finchem talk. The USGA/R&A will still pass this, PGA Tour will go along with it and that's that. No?— Jay Coffin (@JayCoffinGC) February 24, 2013
And the reason behind that:
Tour wouldn't be able to stomach fact that majors wouldn't allow anchored putters, but regular week-to-week schedule would. #weird— Jay Coffin (@JayCoffinGC) February 24, 2013
I'm interested to see where this goes regardless -- especially the ongoing relationship between the USGA and PGA Tour.
I have no problem with anchored putters. If it creates such an advantage for golfers, then why hasn't everyone moved toward doing it?
Also, for peopling citing recent major wins (Webb Simpson and Ernie Els come to mind) as "data that anchored putters are effective" I would note that there's no baseline. How can you say those golfers wouldn't have won anyway?
And in case you were wondering, yes, Tiger is against anchored putters.