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Finchem fields questions on long putters

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ATLANTA – On a busy Wednesday at the Tour Championship commissioner Tim Finchem fielded questions from the media on a wide range of topics from the impending split-calendar schedule that will begin next year, to the impact golf’s inclusion in the 2016 Olympics will have on the Tour’s schedule in four years.

The most telling give-and-take, however, may have been when Finchem was asked about a possible rule change that may outlaw long putters and the act of anchoring clubs during the swing.

“What I've articulated from the position I hold is simply that this is important to a lot of people, not just on the PGA Tour, but to golfers,” Finchem said. “It should be done carefully, reviewed fully, and discussed thoroughly and at least at this point I'm confident that will happen.”

In July U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis told “GTC” there will be a ruling on long putters this fall, perhaps as early as this month, and some players, like Carl Pettersson, have suggested they would consider legal action if the USGA and Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews ban them.

Although Finchem said he has tinkered with a long putter in the past he stressed that it is “not a panacea” for poor putting and that he hasn’t heard much reaction from the players on the possible ruling.

“Until it is law out there it doesn’t seem to be imminent,” he said. “That will come when it gets specific. Players react to black and white.”