Finchem announces Tour opposition to anchor ban

By Rex HoggardFebruary 24, 2013, 8:48 pm

MARANA, Ariz. – On Sunday at Dove Mountain, about midway through the final match at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem confirmed what his players overwhelming told him early last week – there is no reason to ban anchoring.

“Essentially where the PGA Tour came down was that they did not think that banning anchoring was in the best interest of golf or the PGA Tour,” Finchem said.

Finchem did, however, stop short of suggesting that if the ban, which was proposed by the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club last year, is passed later this spring the Tour would break from the Rules of Golf and create its own set of rules.

“We have not even begun that discussion,” Finchem said.

Finchem also dismissed suggestions that the issue has caused a rift or power struggle between the Tour and USGA and R&A.

“I've read some things that would suggest that this is some kind of a donnybrook between the PGA of America and the PGA Tour on one side and the USGA on the other, and that's not really correct,” Finchem said. “They've asked us to give our comments. All we're doing at this point is saying this is our opinion.”


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The 90-day comment period on the potential ban ends next Thursday and Finchem said he expects a decision on whether golf’s rule makers will proceed with the ban “in the next month or so.”

The USGA released a statement following Finchem’s press conference:  “As we consider the various perspectives on anchoring, it has always been our position that (the potential ban) aims to clarify and preserve the traditional and essential nature of the golf stroke, which has helped to make golf a unique and enjoyable game of skill and challenge. It is our plan to take final action on the proposed rule in the spring.”

Finchem’s comments echoed those of many players who participated in two separate conference calls this week regarding the issue. On Monday the circuit’s Player Advisory Council voted overwhelmingly according to multiple players on the call to oppose the ban. Later that day Finchem had a second conference call with the Policy Board to solidify the response, which was sent to the USGA and R&A late last week.

“It felt like, from what we got from the PAC, the majority was in favor of keeping it the way it is. Opposing the ban,” said Steve Stricker, one four player directors on the Policy Board. “It’s not everybody’s thinking, but it is overwhelming lopsided to oppose the ban.”

For Webb Simpson, a member of the PAC and among the estimated 18 percent of Tour players who anchor the club while putting, the vote and written response carried a slight air of vindication.

“A little bit,” Simpson said. “It didn’t look that way at first but the more people looked at it and saw the facts everybody agreed it is a good decision (Finchem) is making.”

For Finchem and the Policy Board the potential problem with the ban was twofold: anything that keeps amateurs from playing the game, and adds to the game’s participation declines, should be closely examined, and from the Tour’s point of view the product has never been better.

Nor did the Tour feel the USGA and R&A made a compelling enough case to outlaw something that has become a central part of the game.

“They can’t prove there is a benefit to using a long putter,” Stricker said. “I never saw anything and they will admit there is no evidence to back that up. In general the game of golf is not in a good spot, why would they try to detract players from playering the game?”

The PGA of America has already come out opposed to the potential ban and the European Tour is expected to draft a formal response before Thursday’s deadline but its stance remains unclear.

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Four top finishers in Japan qualify for The Open

By Associated PressMay 27, 2018, 10:19 am

IBARAKI, Japan – Shota Akiyoshi of Japan shot a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to win the Mizuno Open and qualify for The 147th Open.

Akiyoshi offset three bogeys with five birdies at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki, Japan, to finish 1 under overall and secure his first ever tournament win on the Japan Golf Tour.

Michael Hendry of New Zealand and Japanese golfers Masahiro Kawamura and Masanori Kobayashi were tied for second one stroke off the pace to also qualify for The Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, from July 19-22.

Hendry, who led the tournament coming into the final round, came close to forcing a playoff with Akiyoshi but dropped a shot with a bogey on the final hole when he needed a par to draw level.

Hendry will make his second appearance at The Open after qualifying at the Mizuno Open for the second year in a row.

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Lewis hopes to win at Volvik with baby on the way

By Randall MellMay 27, 2018, 12:55 am

Stacy Lewis was listening to more than her caddie on her march up the leaderboard Saturday at the Volvik Championship.

Pregnant with her first child, she is listening to her body in a new way these days.

And she could hear a message coming through loud and clear toward the end of her round at Travis Point Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“The little one was telling me it’s dinnertime,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied five of the last six holes to shoot 5-under-par 67 and move into position to make a Sunday run at winning her 13th LPGA title. She is two shots behind the leader, Minjee Lee, whose 68 moved her to 12 under overall.

Sunday has the makings of a free for all with 10 players within three shots of the lead.


Full-field scores from the LPGA Volvik Championship


Lewis, 33, is four months pregnant, with her due date Nov. 3. She’s expecting to play just a few more times before putting the clubs away to get ready for the birth. She said she’s likely to make the Marathon Classic in mid-July her last start of the season before returning next year.

Of course, Lewis would relish winning with child.

“I don’t care what limitations I have or what is going on with my body, I want to give myself a chance to win,” she told LPGA.com at the Kingsmill Championship last week.

Lewis claimed an emotional victory with her last title, taking the Cambia Portland Classic late last summer after announcing earlier in the week that she would donate her entire winnings to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in her Houston hometown.

A victory Sunday would also come with a lot of emotion.

It’s been an interesting year for Lewis.

There’s been the joy of learning she’s ready to begin the family she has been yearning for, and the struggle to play well after bouncing back from injury.

Lewis missed three cuts in a row before making it into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship last week. That’s one more cut than she missed cumulatively in the previous six years. In six starts this year, Lewis hasn’t finished among the top 50 yet, but she hasn’t felt right, either.

The former world No. 1 didn’t make her second start of 2018 until April, at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She withdrew from the HSBC Women’s World Championship in late February with a strained right oblique muscle and didn’t play again for a month.

Still, Lewis is finding plenty to get excited about with the baby on the way.

“I kind of had my first Mother’s Day,” Lewis told LPGA.com last week. “It puts golf into perspective. It makes those bad days not seem so bad. It helps me sleep better at night. We are just really excited.”

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Rose hasn't visited restroom at Colonial - here's why

By Nick MentaMay 27, 2018, 12:20 am

In case you're unaware, it's pretty hot in Texas.

Temperatures at Colonial Country Club have approached 100 degrees this week, leaving players to battle both the golf course and potential dehydration.

With the help of his caddie Mark Fulcher, Fort Worth Invitational leader Justin Rose has been plenty hot himself, staking himself to a four-shot lead.


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


"Yeah, Fulch has done a great job of just literally handing me water bottle after water bottle. It seems relentless, to be honest with you," Rose said Saturday.

So just how much are players sweating the heat at Colonial? Well, it doesn't sound like all that water is making it all the way through Rose.

"I haven't even seen the inside of a restroom yet, so you can't even drink quick enough out there," he shared.

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Up four, Rose knows a lead can slip away

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 11:21 pm

Up four shots heading into Sunday at the Fort Worth Invitational, Justin Rose has tied the largest 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

On the previous two occasions he took a 54-hole Tour lead into the final round, he closed.

And yet, Rose knows just how quickly a lead can slip away. After all, it was Rose who erased a six-shot deficit earlier this season to overtake Dustin Johnson and win the WGC-HSBC Championship. 

"I think I was in the lead going into the final round in Turkey when I won, and I had a four-shot lead going into the final round in Indonesia in December and managed to put that one away," Rose said Saturday, thinking back to his two other victories late last year.

"I was five, six back maybe of DJ, so I've got experience the other way. ... So you can see how things can go both ways real quick. That's why there is no point in getting too far ahead of myself."


Full-field scores from the Fort Worth Invitational

Fort Worth Invitational: Articles, photos and videos


Up one to start the third round Saturday, Rose extended his lead to as much as five when he birdied four of his first six holes.

He leads the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+12.853) and strokes gained: approach-the-green (+7.931).

Rose has won five times worldwide, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics, since his last victory in the United States, at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

With a win Sunday, he'd tie Nick Faldo for the most PGA Tour wins by an Englishman post-World War II, with nine.

But he isn't celebrating just yet.

"It is a big lead, but it's not big enough to be counting the holes away. You've got to go out and play good, you've got to go out positive, you've got to continue to make birdies and keep going forward.

"So my mindset is to not really focus on the lead, it's to focus on my game tomorrow and my performance. You know, just keep executing the way I have been. That's going to be my challenge tomorrow. Going to look forward to that mindset."