Tuesday's Tim Finchem afternoon press conference ought to be interesting in light of the statement released by PING CEO John Solheim tonight, and because Finchem is meeting with us scribblers before the player meeting.
The meat of the Solheim statement:
In 1993, the PGA Tour agreed they “will not in the future adopt or attempt to adopt any separate PGA Tour rule which would prohibit the use of U-grooves on any golf club if such PGA Tour rule differed from a USGA rule.”
When the USGA proposed the New Groove Rule more than two years ago, we reminded them of their agreement relative to the PING EYE2 irons. At the time, I was vehemently against any new groove rule for a variety of reasons and advised both the
USGA and PGA Tour in a letter dated July 31, 2007 that what is happening on the PGA Tour today was very much a possibility.
The recent statement from the PGA Tour and several PGA Tour players that they could invoke a “local rule” required us to remind the PGA Tour of the terms of the agreement which prohibits them from straying from a rule that “differed from a USGA rule.”
While I fully expect the PGA Tour to honor this agreement, I’m willing to discuss a workable solution to this matter that would benefit the game and respect the role innovation has played over the long history of golf.”
A workable solution? Does he want money?
Meanwhile, the tour has said invoking a local rule in this case is possible.