Adam Scott, Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson, and six other unidentified players have retained Boston attorney Harry L. Manion III to speak on their behalf on the USGA anchor putter ban, according to Golf Digest. So far, there are no legal actions planned, but that could change based on how the PGA Tour reacts to the USGA proposed rule change, which goes into effect in 2016.
“There’s no rational basis for this ruling,” Manion said, specifically indicating that players like Clark and Pettersson have putted for much of their lives this way without fear of it being against the rules. He said he has read the ruling bodies 40-page document explaining the reasoning for the decision to ban anchoring. “I’m not persuaded by it. There’s some good lawyering in there, but I don’t think they’ve made the case, and I believe the court would see it that way, too.”
The players are hoping that the PGA does not adopt the change for its tournaments, pointing to statements from Commissioner Tim Finchem earlier this year when he said “[e]ssentially where the PGA Tour came down was that they did not think that banning anchoring was in the best interest of golf or the PGA Tour.”
If the PGA Tour follows the USGA, though, we may get a legal challenge with over two years until the ban would go into effect. Such a challenge would face an uphill battle, because the sport can likely govern itself so long as their was no protected class (see Casey Martin and his disability) or discrimination that would otherwise be protected by law.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]