Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Long Putter Debate Lingers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Long Putter Debate Lingers

Article excerpt

The first PGA Tour meeting on a proposed rule for long putters made only one thing clear to commissioner Tim Finchem. There's still a long way to go to decide what the tour will do, and it figures to be messy.

"It's a very different kind of issue, and it stirs a lot of strong feelings," Finchem said Wednesday in La Jolla, Calif., site of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. "So consequently, it's a difficult situation. Personally, I view the professional game as being the strongest it's ever been. So I don't like to see distractions, but it's not a perfect world."

Finchem also said there might be a place for bifurcation -- two sets of rules for the game -- in certain areas of golf, but he did not think the long putter issue was one of them.

The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced Nov. 28 a proposed rule that would outlaw players from anchoring the club against their bodies.

Still to be determined is the tour's official position on the proposed rule, which will require meetings with its Players Advisory Council and policy board. Another decision would be whether to enforce the rule earlier than 2016.

More golf

Ricardo Santos of Portugal made five birdies on his back nine to finish with a 7-under 65 in the opening round of the Qatar Masters in Doha, taking a one shot lead over Anthony Wall and Peter Whiteford.

Baseball

The Cincinnati Reds started a countdown to a 2015 All-Star Game. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig awarded the midsummer game to Cincinnati and Great American Ball Park. The city hasn't played host to an All-Star Game since 1988, when the Reds played at Riverfront Stadium.

* Reliever Jason Motte and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

* The Arizona Diamondbacks and shortstop Chris Pennington avoided an arbitration hearing by reaching a two-year, $5 million contract agreement,

* Infielder Jonathan Herrera and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a one-year, $900,000 contract, avoiding arbitration. …

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