The PGA Tour has to cave in if the USGA sticks to its guns. A lot of the players who are on the fence, or who have been going back and forth on it will probably feel more strongly against bifurcation than they do against the ban.
Nobody wants the PGA Tour to have different rules than the US Open, British Open, Euro Tour, and WGC playing with different.
Good point, and a relatively fresh addition to this tired topic :)
Ok, now this might be explosive (or ignored) but as much as I, and others, keep saying its not about the competitive advantage, it really is, isn't it?
The USGA just doesn't say that because its a losing argument for them. They moved first, and got to frame the discussion.
It's the path of least resistance at play. If you state there is an advantage, you create a burden-of-proof for yourself that they presumably can't definitively prove. Any advantage is theoretical because there isn't an easy way to isolate the differences to produce empirical data. You can avoid that discussion entirely by using other justifiable measures within your scope.
I get that the USGA and the R&A are not calling it an advantage. I also get that some people don't like the look of anchored putters. What I don't get is the idea that to constitute a golf stroke, the club must be swung "freely". I did a search for rules of golf and definitions of a stroke.
First, the entire point of this ruling is that there was never a ruling on this before. So, yeah...you're right. But second, the absence of the ruling before doesn't necessarily prove the absence of intent. Presumably, when the game was created, virtually all competitors swung the club freely. As others have pointed out, and as has happened in all competitive sports at one point or another, it's not until loopholes are realized and/or exploited that rules are enacted to forbid them. It's an ironic combination of our lack of foresight in setting rules coupled with our competitive ingenuity in finding ways to bend rules without breaking them that leads to an ever expanding rulebook.