European Tour supports proposed anchoring ban

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As expected, the European Tour announced Monday that it supports the governing bodies’ proposed ban on anchoring, leaving the PGA Tour as the only major circuit opposing the rule.

In a statement, European Tour chief executive George O’Grady said that “virtually all” of the player representatives supported the ban, and that the issue clearly is more controversial in the States than overseas. 

“Our members support the unique role played by the governing bodies in formulating the Rules of Golf,” he said in a statement.

“Additionally, virtually all of our Tournament Committee and player representatives support the proposed rule even though they are aware, and have taken into account, the fact that some members and especially our senior members use the anchored method.

“We understand the points put forward by the PGA Tour and the PGA of America and respect and sympathize with their views, which are based on their experienced and the evidence before them, and have been expressed with the great concern for the game.

“The whole issue has received far greater focus and comment in the United States than in the rest of the world, perhaps because of the numbers of their golfers using the anchored method, and the setup in general terms of their golf courses and the firmness and speed of their greens.”

This statement comes eight days after commissioner Tim Finchem went on an NBC broadcast to state the Tour’s opposition to the proposed ban. Dismissing a possible power struggle between the Tour and the U.S. Golf Association and Royal and Ancient Golf Club, Finchem said at the time, “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.”

So far, only the PGA Tour and PGA of America have voiced their opposition to the proposed rule. The governing bodies are expected to make a final decision in the spring, and the rule, if enacted, would take effect in 2016.