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Faxon: Tour might oppose anchor ban at Monday meeting

Tim Finchem
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Commissioner Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour Policy Board will convene on a conference call at 5 p.m. ET Monday to determine the Tour’s stance on anchored putting, according to Brad Faxon, who penned a first-person opinion piece for on Sunday.

In November, the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club proposed a rule that would ban the anchored stroke beginning in 2016, when the next edition of the Rules of Golf is published. The 90-day comment period expires at the end of the month.

The PGA Tour, however, has the option to create its own rule. A member of the board for three separate terms in the 1990s and 2000s, Faxon wrote Sunday that, “I believe (Finchem) is going to try to persuade the board that the Tour should urge the USGA to withdraw the proposed ban.”

Faxon, 51, wrote that he’s a proponent of the ban because, he said, anchoring the club to a part of the body is “not in the inherent nature of what we could call a ‘swing.’”

Though many of the anchorers have rejected the premise of the ban – and even argued that the governing bodies didn’t enact the ban 25 years ago and this is merely a reaction to anchorers’ success in major championships – Faxon wrote: “If your goal is to make a proper decision, timing should be irrelevant. It’s never too late to right a wrong.”

“I believe – and I haven’t talked to him about this issue in a while – that Finchem’s stance will be that the PGA Tour is in a good place, that a rules controversy over a well-established putting method does not serve the game well and that the Tour should urge the USGA to back off the proposed ban,” Faxon wrote.

Would such opposition from the PGA Tour even have an effect? Faxon isn’t so sure.

“In the end, I believe the USGA will not back off the proposed ban, and that the ban will be accepted on the PGA Tour,” he wrote, according to the report. “I have to think that the USGA anticipated this level of pushback from the Tour. But it really is also possible that the USGA will back down. It’s so hard to know. This is completely unchartered territory.”