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PGA says No to Belly Putter ban

In a move that has been widely expected in the golf media, the PGA Tour have formally announced their opposition to a ban on the anchored putting stroke, and thereby stood by those who wield the belly or long putters.

"We hold the USGA in highest regard as a key part of the game of golf," Finchem said. "We don't attempt to denigrate that position in any way whatsoever. It's just on this issue, we think if they were to move forward they would be making a mistake."

Despite the risk of a potential schism between the organizing group and the most lucrative Tour in the game Tim Finchem, PGA Tour Commissioner, agreed with the arguments of those proponents of the longer club.

The main basis of their opposition, according to Finchem, lay in the lack of clear evidence of any illegal benefit players gained by anchoring the club to their body.

"I think the essential thread that went through the thinking of the players ... was that in the absence of data or any basis to conclude that there is a competitive advantage to be gained by using anchoring, and given the amount of time that anchoring has been in the game, that there is no overriding reason to go down that road," Finchem said.

The move will have been met by approval by many on the Tour including veteran Jim Furyk.

"I disagree with the rule," Furyk said. "I think it's just been too long. But I wouldn't want to do something differently from the USGA, as well, because that opens a whole new can of worms in the world of golf.

"Every sport that I can think of has different sets of rules for different abilities and different styles, and I realize that's not what the USGA wants to do. I just really don't understand why."


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