Finchem talks anchoring, drug testing, HOF


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The PGA Tour isn’t ready to reveal whether it will follow the USGA and Royal & Ancient Golf Club’s lead if those governing bodies ban anchored putting.

Though the PGA Tour is on record against a ban, commissioner Tim Finchem insisted Tuesday the Tour hasn’t decided how it will respond if the ban is actually adopted.

“We haven’t even discussed internally what our response will be,” Finchem said.

Anchoring, World Golf Hall of Fame eligibility and the Vijay Singh drug-testing resolution were among topics Finchem addressed in his news conference at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course.

The USGA and R&A closed its 90-day comment period on the proposed anchoring ban at the end of February and have indicated they will make a final decision sometime this spring.

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“We have made our comments,” Finchem said. “We have indicated the concerns we have, as have other golf organizations here to the USGA, overseas to the R&A, and now it’s up to them to complete the process.”

Notably, Finchem still isn’t ruling out the possibility the PGA Tour would not follow the USGA and R&A should they ban anchoring.

Finchem said the PGA Tour’s stance against a ban hasn’t opened new discussion or even some kind of negotiation with the USGA and R&A.

“When they complete this, we’ll turn around and have a conversation with our players and our board about the position we should take,” Finchem said. “Until we get there, we aren’t going to speculate.”

Finchem did say the PGA Tour is looking at enhancing its drug-testing program based on what it learned in Singh’s appeal after he admitted to using deer antler spray. Singh was cleared of any violation when the World Anti-Doping Agency announced it was no longer including deer antler spray among its banned substances.

“I think in any doping case you learn something,” Finchem said. “There are several things we are focused on, procedurally.”

Finchem said none of them are major issues. He said the Tour is mostly focused on how to improve drug-testing communication with players and with WADA.

Finchem also said the PGA Tour is looking at its World Golf Hall of Fame, including whether the age limit for eligibility should be raised from 40.

“It’s currently under discussion,” Finchem said.

Finchem stated that the Tour is also looking at whether there should continue to be separate PGA Tour balloting and International balloting.