Report: Euro Tour likely to side with USGA, R&A

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A showdown between the PGA Tour and governing bodies appears imminent – and the Tour reportedly won’t have the backing of its counterparts across the pond.

Though the European Tour has yet to formally comment on the governing bodies’ proposal to ban the anchored stroke, it is expected that chief executive George O’Grady will address the issue later this week, according to the report Monday by James Corrigan of The Telegraph. The 90-day comment period for the proposed ban expires Thursday, and the European Tour players are likely to side with the R&A and USGA, according to the report.

There already is the awkward possibility that players could anchor the putter during a regular PGA Tour event, but not during at least two of the major championships that are run by the USGA (U.S. Open) and R&A (British Open). The European Tour’s reported siding with the governing bodies also could throw into flux the four World Golf Championships events.

According to the report, O’Grady was in Tucson, Ariz., last week for the WGC-Match Play Championship, where he met with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. On Sunday, Finchem addressed reporters in Arizona and also went on the NBC broadcast to state the PGA Tour’s opposition to the proposed ban, saying, “We think if they were to move forward they would be making a mistake.”

The Telegraph also reported that Finchem spoke on the phone with R&A chief executive Peter Dawson about the issue, though no details of that call have emerged.