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R&A considers submissions over anchoring rule

ESPN staff
March 1, 2013
R&A chief Peter Dawson wants to see long putters outlawed © Getty Images

The Royal & Ancient Club will carefully consider all views received on the proposed anchoring ban, after the period for external submissions concluded on Thursday.

The rules body had invited opinions from individuals and relevant bodies for a 90-day period following the announcement of their proposed 2016 introduction of Rule 14-1b last year.

The PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem - who came out in opposition to the ban - and Tiger Woods - who is vehemently in favour - were among the high-profile names to weigh in with their views on the controversial move, which would effectively outlaw the long putters preferred by the likes of Ernie Els and Keegan Bradley, this week.

The R&A, in conjunction with golf's other rules body the United States Golf Association, will now consider the viewpoints put forth - but appears determined to push through the change to the game's laws.

"Anchoring has been a polarising issue in our sport and despite having weighed the matter thoroughly before making the proposal, we believed it was important to give stakeholders in the game the opportunity to air their views," an R&A spokesman said. "Our consultation period has generated a number of considered responses which have continued to arrive right up to the deadline.

"We appreciate those responses and will take time to review and evaluate them."

The proposed ban has garnered more controversy in the United States than elsewhere - partly as a result of the PGA Tour's unexpected intervention - but the R&A appeared to rule out the prospect of going alone with its ban - insisting it would continue to work closely with the USGA to reach a joint outcome that applies throughout the world.

"We note that this matter has proved particularly sensitive in the United States, while the proposed rule change has been received more favourably across the international golfing community," the spokesman added.

"As we have throughout this process, we will work closely with the USGA in moving towards a final resolution."

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