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More fizzle than sizzle at Tour players' meeting

Tim Finchem
Getty Images

SAN DIEGO – What the PGA Tour’s response will ultimately be to a proposed ban on anchored putting remained as much a mystery after the year’s first players meeting Tuesday at Torrey Pines as it was before the meeting.

“It is probably best for me not to say anything as I am a (policy) board member,” Paul Goydos said leaving the meeting.

Geoff Ogilvy, a member of the Players Advisory Council, also declined to talk about specifics of the meeting. Brendan Steele, who has been outspoken with media in defense of long putters, left the meeting saying he had to go immediately to a Players Advisory Council meeting.

One PGA Tour pro after another leaving the mandatory players meeting declined to comment for the record, but two participants in the meeting said Tim Clark stepped up strongest in defense of anchored putting.

According to the two participants, who did not want to be quoted, U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis gave a presentation outlining the proposed new definition of a legal stroke, which would ban anchored putting. The presentation included photographs of proper and improper strokes. Afterward, when Davis invited questions, Clark was the first to ask a question.

Clark, born with a condition that doesn’t allow him to pronate his wrists, uses an anchored long putter. He isn’t playing the Farmers Insurance Open this week but flew into San Diego to attend the meeting.

“There were a lot of questions, but it was surprising that most of the players who use anchored putters didn’t say anything,” one observer in the meeting said.

According to the two participants, there was no clear consensus on what players want to do about the proposed ban.

“They asked us here as guests, and we just feel it would be very inappropriate to say anything more than that,” Davis said. “It’s just not right for us to say anything.”

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is expected to address the player meeting with media on Wednesday morning.