There’s a world-class golf course in the middle of New York City — on the south point of the Bronx tucked under the Whitestone Bridge. The effort to build what is now called Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point nearly has the makings to be an episode out of the The Sopranos, but I didn’t have enough words or room to get into the long, dramatic history.
Instead, I wrote about the partnership of Mayor Bloomberg, Donald Trump and Jack Nicklaus that pushed to complete the 30-plus-year undertaking to bring a golf course to Ferry Point Park and previewed the ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the course that’s happening this morning. In fact, I’m going to be late, so I better run, but you can read in print on the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section (if you live in the tri-state area), or of course, there’s always the online version…
A month ago, Merion desperately needed some hot, 80-something degree days to firm up the track for U.S. Open-esque conditions, but going with the theme of the season, Mother Nature keeps spoiling the fun in the sun. The U.S. Open didn’t exactly get off to the best start on Monday.
The horn blew before 6am and play was delayed until 11am, and then it was intermittently suspended throughout the day, meaning players haven’t had the most ideal of practice rounds (if you follow any on Twitter, then you’ve gotten a pretty accurate glimpse of the morbidity of things).
Remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea battered Merion Golf Club, this year’s historical host venue, with 3½ inches of rain on Friday. The course was closed on Saturday as USGA officials scrambled to get the course in shape with less than a week before the major championship begins on Thursday.
The 11th and 12th holes on Merion’s East course are susceptible to flooding, especially the 11th, which is apparently rebuilt every few years after storms like yesterday’s pummel it, but fear not – USGA executive director Mike Davis has really thought of everything.
As expected, the USGA and R&A availed of this morning’s conference call with journalists to confirm their amendment of rule 14-1b to prohibit the anchored putting stroke. The announcement brings to an end what the official statement describes as an “extensive review” of the issue, during which comments from various dissenting parties and interest groups — among them the PGA Tour and PGA of America — were considered at length.
Join us below the line for a breakdown of the rule change itself, plus quotes and reaction from the saga’s chief protagonists (except for Carl Petterson; he needs a few days to process things, apparently).
On the final day of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the semifinal and finals matches won’t necessarily dominate the headlines and the discussion. Instead, the announcement PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is expected to make on Sunday will likely overshadow the actual golf.
In two meetings this week 15-member Players Advisory Council and the nine-member Tour Policy Board to thrash out the Tour’s stance on the USGA’s and R&A’s proposed ban on anchored putters, the majority of the players want the Tour brass to ask golf’s governing bodies to back off the rule change. And Finchem, who knows the “game” as well as anyone, will appear on Sunday’s broadcast to inform the world of the Tour’s objection, according to Sports Illustrated’s Michael Bamberger.
As expected, the USGA and the R&A proposed a new rule that would ban anchoring of the club, most applicably the putter, to the body when making a stroke on Wednesday morning in a joint teleconference (see below for video aired on Golf Channel).
While golf’s governing bodies call it a “proposal,” it’s pretty much been decided that the rule will be implemented — but of course, to cover their bases, there will be a 90-day thorough review, so the members of the USGA and R&A rules committees can hear every side to every argument possible (as if this hasn’t been discussed enough) before the next approval in Spring of 2013.
Golfweek’s Alex Miceli, currently in China for the WGC-HSBC Champions, has filed an interesting report on the growing resistance among exponents of anchored putting techniques to the idea of an equipment ban.
Some tour players, sensing their livelihoods at risk, are apparently willing to consider legal action in the event of a rules change.