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Report: Bishop criticizes all-male policy, anchor ban

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PGA president Ted Bishop is taking a fellow association leader to task – again.

According to a story Monday by Golf World senior writer and Golf Channel contributor Tim Rosaforte, Bishop is not only still miffed by the governing bodies’ proposed anchoring ban, but now has challenged the R&A’s male-only membership.

“I find that to be very curious and perplexing given the fact that the R&A has not been inclusive as evidenced by their unwillingness to accept women as members to the R&A,” Bishop told Rosaforte, according to the report. “This is a much different approach than we have taken in America.”

Two weeks ago, Golf World first reported that there was a prickly exchange between Bishop and R&A chief executive Peter Dawson at the Masters. That story can be found here but as synthesized in this Rosaforte report: 

When Bishop made the point that the PGA of America was standing up for the “best interests of the amateur golfer,” Dawson bristled and, according to Bishop, pointed a finger at him and said, “That’s not your role.”

Later, Bishop reportedly approached Dawson to defuse the situation, telling him, “I hope you don’t take this personally.” But Golf World reported that Dawson then told Bishop that “irreparable damage had been done.”

Fast-forward two weeks. Now, in an email to Rosaforte, Bishop wrote: “The PGA of America has gotten the impression from the R&A that we should have just accepted the proposed rule change and not issued any comments. Then why have a comment period at all? If you remember, Dawson stated on Nov. 28 that he doubted if any new evidence would surface during the comment period that would result in the ban on anchoring being dropped. That hardly set the stage for an ‘open’ comment period.”

With an anchor-ban announcement expected sometime in the next few weeks, one thing is certain: This won’t be the last we’ve heard from the feisty PGA president.