A nchor s
Purkey: Rule 14-1b
McDowell Ends Drought
Australian Open Preview
We begin today’s mini-column by
grudgingly complementing Peter Dawson’s
public relations minions at the R&A.
They knew there would be a public
outcry when they announced scheduled
architectural tweaks to their sacred Old
Course. But they also knew the news cycle of
criticism would recede, just days later, with
gut reactions to the advent of proposed Rule
14-1b, a.k.a. the belly buster.
R&A boss Dawson and USGA head Mike
Davis are honorable stewards who sincerely
are convinced that a ban on anchored putting
is best for the game.
And that makes it difficult to criticize them
in a responsible way, short-sighted, cheap-
seat bloggers notwithstanding.
But response from the game’s power
brokers has been almost uniformly
lukewarm. The call for bifurcation is now a
media brushfire that threatens to rage out of
control. And the 2016 date of implementation
of the ban is way too far out in the future.
Anchorer Keegan Bradley, who has
broken no rules, was called a “cheater” by a
spectator Saturday in California. Regrettably,
there will be more incidents like this if the
2016 deadline isn’t significantly tightened.
Surviving this umbilical tempest in a
teepot are belly buttons, belly dancing, jelly
bellies, pot bellies, pork bellies, flat bellies
and the memory of the late, great blues
guitarist, Lead Belly.
But putting with a fixed point of anchor
has gone belly up.
Meanwhile, congrats to Sunday winners
Martin Kaymer in South Africa and, in the
U.S., to Graeme McDowell, who will soon be
bellying up to the bar at the restaurant he is
about to open in Florida.