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Monday
Mar112013

Tim Clark On A Possible Legal Challenge To Anchoring Ban: "That would never be something I'd ever look to do."

Following up on last week's chat with select media members (reported here and here), Tim Clark and Adam Scott sat down with Golf Channel's Todd Lewis for their first TV interview to defend the rights of putter anchoring. Both players do their best to make their case, and Lewis asks some different questions which help clarify a few key points. (I've transcribed highlights as the Golf Central videos disappear into cyberspace in a week.)

Both players tell Lewis they were surprised by the announcement of the proposed rule change last fall, but remain respectful of the governing bodies place in the game. But asked why he switched, Clark said he "never felt I was a very good putter, still don't feel I'm a very good putter" and explains his medical condition.

I have a bit of a congenital arm issue where I can't supinate my forearms, so the short putter was just never very comfortable in my hands. I always looked awkward over it and it just felt awkward.

Lewis interrupts, asking for clarification whether the conditions is "uncomfortable or painful?" Clark:

"More uncomfortable. I mean, it's extremely hard to putt with tight forearms and you know, I picked up the long putter and it took me a long time to take it out into competition."

Lewis asks about nerves playing a part and both players were taken aback by the suggestion that anchoring eliminates nervous twitches. "Flabbergasting to me," said Clark, while Scott says those are "Completely unqualified comments" by anyone making that assertion.

Clark made clear he wants "to play by the rules" and appreciates Tim Finchem for finding the decision "unfair and unjust." Not sure he used such strong words...

Lewis asks if they'll be anchoring in 2016. Both players are optimistic and Scott noted that he thinks he'll be able to putt with any putter he wants. Of course, the wording of the rule change does not impact the putter in any way so that statement is certainly true.

As for the European Tour supporting the governing bodies, Clark says they changed their stance shortly before supporting the USGA and R&A:

"The interesting thing is that a week and a half ago we thought the European Tour would follow what the [PGA] Tour was going to do. I guess in a span of five or six days they completely changed their position. So that was a shock. You know we thought these guys have a good handle on what is going on and they're going to do the right thing. Obviously they changed their minds and we're not sure way. Obviously that was a bit troubling."

In the most newsworthy portion of the conversation, Lewis asks if the ban happens whether the players would pursue "maybe a legal right to fight whomever to use anchor styled putter."  Clark:

"There's no way I want to be in a situation where I'm the only guy using something out there. So that would never be something I'd ever look to do."

Scott:

"I haven't given it that much thought at all. Because you can't make decisions on assumptions and foresight like that. I can only go with what is happening right now and we're dealing with this the best way we feel we can."

You feel for both during the interview but ultimately, their case is not going to be strong enough.

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Reader Comments (25)

Does anyone know if Clark's inability to supinate his forearms helps him or hurts him in making full swings? Might it reduce rotation through the impact zone? Just curious...
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
I've always thought that this disability helps him a lot with accuracy in the long game, like Calvin Peete's chronically bent left arm.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
"Flabbergasting to me." Or better yet, "Completely unqualified comments."

Oh, these guys are good.....at telling a whopper. Disregard what the close-up camera shot reveals to your lying eyes. The great players of the past can talk about the impact of pressure on the putting stroke, but these guys can't? Must have been absolute horror back in the day to be out there without a mental coach and the long/belly putter ;-)
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
"I mean, it's extremely hard to putt with tight forearms "

Yup. Thats the idea.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
@smails:
+1
;=]
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
I found it interesting that they inferred if a player must remove anchoring then a longer putter is complete rubbish. Lewis even pointed out that the putters are legal it is the anchoring that is in review. If Clark could choose long non-anchored putting vs. going back to a short putter I would guess the formal is less of an adjustment. Imagine what these guys would claim if they had to return to persimmon woods...Maybe that could be the choice- If you anchor you must use persimmon. That I'd like to see. Anchoring on tour has been around longer than metal woods I believe.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
I don't feel for them one at all.

They both (and others) have gotten away with a chickenshit way of putting for a long time and still have nearly three years to rake in more loot.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
Look guys, it's pretty simple. Tim can't supinate both forearms because of the antagonistic forces create by bilateral supination. During the full swing his left arm is supinated, but his right arm is pronated. Thus, the antagonististic forces are not in effect. I think it's all connected to the absence of myelin.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFifth Column
Tim Clark: " we thought the European Tour was going to do the right thing".

They did the right thing you cheating so and so... Deal with it.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStord
fyg--- I think you hut the nail on the head wit your description of their putting --''style''. Perfe

+1

Also, I would not take them at heir word on no attempted legal challenge.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
they wont challenge--that would cost money.

the tour isnt against anchoring--the policy board is against having to tell their friends they have to, in effect, change the way they do theiir jobs, which might reult in them making less money.

the policy board will be fine with someone else telling their friends they cant anchor.

and if they arent, and go to the local rule, then the cheater label will start to stick.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
I can't believe these guys still have the cajones to go out there with those brooms. Watching last weekend, every time Bradley came on the screen with that driver length thing wedged in his gut about half a mile from the ball and then jerked his stomach to make what he calls a "putt..." Or when Scott came on looking down from the Eiffel Tower clutching the gridiron for dear life... It's just embarrassing to hear them talk as if it makes no difference.

But you're right, it's about the money... and that's firmly in control of what's doing the talking.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
Nowadays RLL, everything is all about the money, whether it's golf or any other subject. Sad, but for the most part true.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
And just as those behind the wheel of the monetary systems think debasing currency is the way out of the mess to growth, so, too, do the powers that be in golf think that debasing the game for the sake of currency is the way into "growing the sport."
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
RLL, that is dead on.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Taggart
''they won't challenge--that would cost money''

The thing is, Smails, some hot shot lawyer who wants to make a name for himself, could pick this up Pro Bono, or on contingency. Not unusual theae days..
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Nobody takes on a group with $250 million in the bank on contingency, much less pro bono, on the subject of rulemaking for a game invented by sheperds to pass the time. The USGA could and would hire whole firms full of flesh eating lawyers. Drown the plaintiff in motions, discovery, etc.

and the question to hand is essentially whether the assn has the right to set its own rules for 13 tournaments, three of which have cash prize funds provided by...the guy who sets the rules. Not a lot different than suing the publishers clearing house because you dont like the way they draw the names out of a hat.

Toxic torts it is not....
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Did we ever get any disclosure into the process by which the Euro Tour arrived at their position not to oppose the ban on anchoring? Sounds like they were on board to oppose the ban and had a change of heart...decided the easy way out was to let the PGA Tour and PGA of America carry the ball while they watch from the sidelines?

The comment period is over...when is the USGA expected to reveal a stop or go decision?
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Del-the European Tour have a policy of complying with the R andA rules.This came as no surprise.Many years ago they allowed tapping down of spike marks which the R and A refused to endorse.They have never gone against them since.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
So there was no dialogue or discussion whatsoever? If that's a standing policy why did they even have to make an announcement? Tim Clark seems to have a completely different take on the situation.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@ Fifth Column:
You had me. I was about to call bulls**t until I got to ''myelin."
Very good.

@ Brad:
I have to disagree slightly. It is not just nowadays that it's all about the money. It has always been all about the money. And I cannot concieve of that changing. But I appreciate the point, nevertheless.
03.12.2013 | Unregistered Commentergov. lepetomane
Del-it will have been discussed-but no way were they going to oppose.
03.13.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Clark and Scott, like Els, Bradley and the rest of them, are cheaters out to destroy the game of golf for their own financial gain. It's unfortunate that they don't care about and have a passion for the game as it was meant to be played.
03.13.2013 | Unregistered Commenterknottypine
I love the line:

"No, there's no pain, it's more uncomfortable"


Who ever said life was supposed to be "comfortable" or even "fair"? I hear that line 20x/week when I change a duffer's grip. My answer is the same:

"I really don't care how it feels... and most importantly...neither does the ball and club you're holding...but it will feel better with practice and discipline... just like everything else in life''
03.14.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
@johnnycz:

+2
03.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL

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