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European Tour backs decision to ban anchored putters

The European Tour has, as expected, confirmed its support for the ban on anchoring of putters as proposed by the sports governing bodies, the Royal & Ancient and the US Golf Association.

While Tim Finchem, the commissioner of the PGA Tour in the United States, announced last week that he would oppose the formulation of rule 14-1b, his European counterpart, George O'Grady, last night gave the motion his backing, although he did concede that a number of his regular tour and senior tour members did employ the anchored method.

The European Tour's stance on the subject is consistent with the Professional Golfers' Association and the Ladies European Tour on this side of the Atlantic. That is in stark contrast to the situation in the US with both the PGA Tour and the PGA of America rallying against the proposal.

"The European Tour has been fully involved in the consultation process which ended on February 28, and deeply value this involvement," said O'Grady in a statement released from the Wentworth-based organisation. "Our members support the unique role played by the governing bodies in formu-lating the Rules of Golf.

"Additionally, virtually all of our tournament committee and player representatives support the proposed rule even though they are aware, and have taken into account, the fact that some members and especially our senior members use the anchored method.

"We understand the points put forward by the PGA Tour and the PGA of America and respect and sympathise with their views, which are based on their experience and the evidence before them, and have been expressed with great concern for the game."

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