Clark's passionate plea helped shape anchoring opinions

By Randall MellFebruary 27, 2013, 7:22 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Why are so many members of the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council opposed to the proposed ban on anchoring putters?

Tim Clark’s impassioned plea in a pivotal player meeting at Torrey Pines last month partly explains it.                                            

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said 13 of 15 PAC members are opposed to the ban. The one-sided nature of that was surprising given Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were among high-profile players who initially came out supportive of the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club’s proposed ban.

Clark, who anchors a long putter, wasn’t even playing the Farmers Insurance Open but made a special trip to that player meeting at Torrey Pines. That’s where USGA executive director Mike Davis met with PGA Tour pros. It’s also where more than one player surprisingly challenged the idea the USGA and R&A’s should still govern the professional game.

Anchored putting: Check out more articles and video

When the floor that night was opened for player comments or questions, Clark was the first player to stand up.

“Tim Clark got up and said some things that were very sincere, about his livelihood and his family,” said Brandt Jobe, who was there. “When Tim spoke, that really impacted players who would have been on the fence. A lot of people who didn’t really care that much were affected by the points Tim made that night and decided, ‘I’m going in that direction.’”

Clark has a genetic condition that prevents him from turning his forearms and wrists inward. He has used a long putter for several years.

Though players will tell you there’s more difference in opinion among the overall membership than among the PAC, Jason Dufner is convinced the PGA Tour will not go along with an anchoring ban should the USGA and R&A decide to implement the rule.

“I felt like this is the stance the Tour would take,” Dufner said. “I was telling guys who anchor putters that that if I were using one, I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. I just don’t see there being a ban on anchoring on the PGA Tour.”

Clark put a face and a compelling story to the argument for anchoring.

“Guys understand what’s going on out here, and there’s a little bit of compassion, and a little bit of understanding from the players who are dealing with this every week,” Dufner said. “We’re playing against each other. We know how hard it is out here. There are some guys who have been doing this a long time and feel like their livelihood would be taken away with an anchor ban. You might see really prominent guys not be able to stay out here, or you might see litigation. You don’t want to see players in that position, where they feel like they have to defend themselves.”

The USGA and R&A’s 90-day comment period ends Thursday. They’re expected to decide later this spring whether to implement the ban.

Jobe says the overwhelming support of the PAC doesn’t necessarily translate as strongly with the overall membership.

“That’s 15 people on the PAC,” Jobe said. “There are more than 200 members.”

Stewart Cink, a former PGA Tour Policy Board member, said the PAC’s recommendations aren’t always followed by the Tour’s policy making board of directors.

“When I was on the board, I thought it was unprecedented for the board to go against the PAC, but that is not true,” Cink said. “That turned out not to be true when we formulated the FedEx Cup. The PAC is an important source of feedback, but it is not the final say so, and in no way is it impossible to go against the PAC. The PAC wasn’t against the FedEx Cup, but they were against some aspects of the points breakdowns.”

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.

Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''

Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open

Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.