Ron Sirak - July 30, 2012

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The anchored putter debate continues to heat up and the rhetoric is heating up on both sides. Bernhard Langer and Tim Clark, whose careers have both been positively impacted by the anchored putter, have both spoken out publicly in support of anchoring. Clark said that he has anchored his putter for 16 years and if he were not allowed to do so, it is likely that he would not have turned professional.

The sandy areas at The Ocean Course during the PGA Championship will not be played as hazards. As a result, players will be able to take practice swings, remove loose impediments, and ground their clubs. There is so much sand on the course that this decision prevents any confusion that could cause a penalty similar to what Dustin Johnson incurred during the final round of the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Sirak has known Yani Tseng for a long time and feels that she is very talented, centered, and motivated. All of those great qualities make it even more baffling as to why she is struggling on the LPGA Tour this year. She has never been the best putter and it is possible that all of the stress involved has had a significant impact on her mental game at least for the time being. One of the things that separated Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam from everyone else was their ability to maintain dominance over a long period of time. It will be interesting to see if Yani will be able to resume the dominance that she exhibited in 2011 and early in 2012.

Latanna Stone will be the first player born in the 21st century to compete in a USGA when this 10-year-old will play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur. The question of how young is too young to play in elite tournaments has existed for many years and notable examples include Aree Song and Michelle Wie. In the case of Latanna Stone, it is ultimately up to her parents to determine if competing in such an elite event at such a young age will do more good than any possible harm at this stage of Latanna’s life.

The Ocean Course will host its first Major Championship next week and whether or not the course is embraced by the competitors will depend on how much the wind blows. If the wind blows, the scores will be very high and the players could have a negative response to the course. If the wind doesn’t blow, the scores could be much lower and the response will be much more positive.