Adam Scott and eight other PGA Tour players believe they got the short end of the stick when the USGA and R&A decided to ban the anchored putting stroke. But the nine guys who affix belly and longer putters to their bodies and considered bringing legal action over the rule change won’t sue after all.
“We expected it and everyone continues to believe it’s a bad rule, irrational, without any kind of logic or basis,” Harry Manion, who served as the group’s attorney until tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced Monday his association would adopt the anchoring ban, told SBNation Tuesday. “But they understand that the tour wants one set of rules, at least for now, and I think they’re please that it didn’t get accelerated.”
Despite Finchem’s ardent and public opposition to the USGA’s Rule 14-1b, slated to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, the tour did a 180 after its policy board approved the plan to make anchored strokes illegal. The unit made its announcement ahead of this week’s Greenbrier Classic, in which several navigators of belly and sternum putters, including 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson and outspoken anchoring advocate Carl Pettersson, will compete.
“We had Harry Manion employed for a while,” Pettersson told GolfChannel.com’s Jason Sobel on Tuesday from the Greenbrier’s Old White TPC course. “We just didn’t want to get pushed over. But it’s over with and we’ll just have to get on with it.”
Pettersson, one of three of the nine golfers to go public about retaining Manion’s services (Scott and Tim Clark were the others) said a lawsuit at this point would not “do anybody any good,” and the Boston lawyer agreed.
“I don’t think anyone’s going to undertake a legal challenge to the tour,” said Manion, who noted he would check in with each of his former clients individually, none of whom had “any quarrel” with Finchem or his organization. “They’re not happy about [the decision] but they understand the tour’s position and...we got a lot of support from fellow players.”