Finchem announces Tour opposition to anchor ban

By Rex HoggardFebruary 24, 2013, 8:48 pm

MARANA, Ariz. – On Sunday at Dove Mountain, about midway through the final match at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem confirmed what his players overwhelming told him early last week – there is no reason to ban anchoring.

“Essentially where the PGA Tour came down was that they did not think that banning anchoring was in the best interest of golf or the PGA Tour,” Finchem said.

Finchem did, however, stop short of suggesting that if the ban, which was proposed by the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club last year, is passed later this spring the Tour would break from the Rules of Golf and create its own set of rules.

“We have not even begun that discussion,” Finchem said.

Finchem also dismissed suggestions that the issue has caused a rift or power struggle between the Tour and USGA and R&A.

“I've read some things that would suggest that this is some kind of a donnybrook between the PGA of America and the PGA Tour on one side and the USGA on the other, and that's not really correct,” Finchem said. “They've asked us to give our comments. All we're doing at this point is saying this is our opinion.”

Anchored putting: Check out more articles and video

The 90-day comment period on the potential ban ends next Thursday and Finchem said he expects a decision on whether golf’s rule makers will proceed with the ban “in the next month or so.”

The USGA released a statement following Finchem’s press conference:  “As we consider the various perspectives on anchoring, it has always been our position that (the potential ban) aims to clarify and preserve the traditional and essential nature of the golf stroke, which has helped to make golf a unique and enjoyable game of skill and challenge. It is our plan to take final action on the proposed rule in the spring.”

Finchem’s comments echoed those of many players who participated in two separate conference calls this week regarding the issue. On Monday the circuit’s Player Advisory Council voted overwhelmingly according to multiple players on the call to oppose the ban. Later that day Finchem had a second conference call with the Policy Board to solidify the response, which was sent to the USGA and R&A late last week.

“It felt like, from what we got from the PAC, the majority was in favor of keeping it the way it is. Opposing the ban,” said Steve Stricker, one four player directors on the Policy Board. “It’s not everybody’s thinking, but it is overwhelming lopsided to oppose the ban.”

For Webb Simpson, a member of the PAC and among the estimated 18 percent of Tour players who anchor the club while putting, the vote and written response carried a slight air of vindication.

“A little bit,” Simpson said. “It didn’t look that way at first but the more people looked at it and saw the facts everybody agreed it is a good decision (Finchem) is making.”

For Finchem and the Policy Board the potential problem with the ban was twofold: anything that keeps amateurs from playing the game, and adds to the game’s participation declines, should be closely examined, and from the Tour’s point of view the product has never been better.

Nor did the Tour feel the USGA and R&A made a compelling enough case to outlaw something that has become a central part of the game.

“They can’t prove there is a benefit to using a long putter,” Stricker said. “I never saw anything and they will admit there is no evidence to back that up. In general the game of golf is not in a good spot, why would they try to detract players from playering the game?”

The PGA of America has already come out opposed to the potential ban and the European Tour is expected to draft a formal response before Thursday’s deadline but its stance remains unclear.

Bradley, wife welcome baby boy, already rocking Patriots gear

By Grill Room TeamNovember 20, 2017, 6:40 pm

Keegan Bradley and his wife Jillian announced on social media that they welcomed a baby boy, Logan James Bradley, to the world last week.

The Bradleys both posted photos on Instagram over the weekend, introducing their healthy newborn baby, who was (not-surprisingly) already decked out in head-to-toe New England Patriots gear.

Bradley, 31, grew up in New England and is not shy about showing his support for the area's sports teams.

Logan James Bradley 11/13/17 He’s changed @jillian_bradley and my life forever. We couldn’t be happier #gopats #dab

A post shared by Keegan Bradley (@keeganbradley1) on

A big congratulations is in order for the new parents.

And all you other adorable kids of PGA Tour golfers, you've officially been put on notice. You've got some new competition.

Country music star Owen to play in event

By Will GrayNovember 20, 2017, 6:19 pm

Country music star and avid amateur golfer Jake Owen has accepted a sponsor invitation to play in the 2018 Nashville Golf Open on the Tour.

Owen, 36, has sold millions of albums while becoming one of the top male singers in the country genre. He has also been frequently spotted on the links, teeing it up last week alongside host Davis Love III in the RSM Classic pro-am and participating each of the last three years as the celebrity partner for Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Owen will now try his hand in competition against some of the game's rising stars at the May 24-27 event, held in his hometown and benefitting the charitable foundation of PGA Tour pro Brandt Snedeker.

"I am truly honored to have this opportunity to play golf with guys whose work ethic I admire so much, like my buddy Brandt Snedeker," Owen said in a release. "I know how hard everyone works to get to play in these ( Tour) tournaments. I'm really grateful, and I can't wait for this week in May 2018 to get here."

Owen will be following in the footsteps of NBA superstar Steph Curry, who played on a sponsor invite earlier this year at the's Ellie Mae Classic and, while missing the cut, largely exceeded expectations. Curry is currently listed as a 0.8 handicap, while Owen played at Pebble Beach in February as a 3 handicap.

Like Curry, Owen will play via an "unrestricted" sponsor invite and will retain his amateur status.

Jeremy Roenick uses golf clubs to catch rattlesnake

By Jason CrookNovember 20, 2017, 6:00 pm

Jeremy Roenick has never seemed to be afraid of much, whether it was another guy breaking his jaw on the hockey rink or an alligator interrupting his golf game.

The retired American hockey legend who currently works as an NBC Sports analyst was at it again over the weekend, coming across a rattlesnake in Arizona and just casually using a couple of golf clubs to catch it before grabbing it with his bare hands and showing it off for the camera.

The person recording can be heard calling Roenick "psycho" and "nuts" several times before the snake is thrown off the property.

That person is not wrong.

What's in the bag: RSM Classic winner Cook

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 20, 2017, 3:52 pm

PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook earned his first Tour title at the RSM Classic. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Ping G400 (8.5 degrees adjusted to 9.2), with Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661X shaft

Fairway wood: Ping G400 (13 degrees), with Fujikura Motore VC 7.0 shaft

Hybrids: Ping G400 (19, 22 degrees), with Matrix Altus Red X shafts

Irons: Ping S55 (5-PW), with KBS Tour S shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (50, 56, 60) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 shafts

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne

Ball: Titleist Pro V1