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malincanada

OWGR and Anchoring Ban

7 posts in this topic

I've not seen this mentioned in any of the discussions I've read about the anchoring ban so I thought I'd start a new thread specifically about issues that could arise regarding the OWGR and whether the PGA Tour accept the anchoring ban.

In many threads I've seen, a common point made is along the lines of "So what. Let the PGA make their own rules. The people anchoring can continue to do so on the PGA Tour but then when they play in the majors that don't allow it then they have to use the short stick"

I think that simplifies things greatly. The most direct way to qualify for every major (and WGC events) is based on your position on OWGR.

OWGR is officially sanctioned by every major championship and every major tour. If the PGA Tour decided to go against the ban then I imagine OWGR would have to fall on one side of the debate or the other. I can't see that R&A; and USGA would continue to sanction a ranking system that gives points to the PGA Tour who have decided to play outside of the ban.

Whichever way the OWGR fell I'm sure the other side would up their own ranking system but I would imagine the R&A; and USGA would still see the one they use as the 'official' ranking system and so they would take their automatic qualifiers from that list.

If this scenario is presented to the PGA Tour players is it really feasible that the majority of the players will accept giving up these major qualification spots in support of a small minority (the anchoring players)?

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Originally Posted by malincanada

I've not seen this mentioned in any of the discussions I've read about the anchoring ban so I thought I'd start a new thread specifically about issues that could arise regarding the OWGR and whether the PGA Tour accept the anchoring ban.

In many threads I've seen, a common point made is along the lines of "So what. Let the PGA make their own rules. The people anchoring can continue to do so on the PGA Tour but then when they play in the majors that don't allow it then they have to use the short stick"

I think that simplifies things greatly. The most direct way to qualify for every major (and WGC events) is based on your position on OWGR.

OWGR is officially sanctioned by every major championship and every major tour. If the PGA Tour decided to go against the ban then I imagine OWGR would have to fall on one side of the debate or the other. I can't see that R&A; and USGA would continue to sanction a ranking system that gives points to the PGA Tour who have decided to play outside of the ban.

Whichever way the OWGR fell I'm sure the other side would up their own ranking system but I would imagine the R&A; and USGA would still see the one they use as the 'official' ranking system and so they would take their automatic qualifiers from that list.

If this scenario is presented to the PGA Tour players is it really feasible that the majority of the players will accept giving up these major qualification spots in support of a small minority (the anchoring players)?

I think you raise a good point.  When push comes to shove I cannot believe the majority of tour players will support becoming pariahs in the world of golf and causing these kinds of problems.

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I don't think OWGR needs to pick a side--they don't set rules.  They could simply ignore the difference and award points for finishes regardless of the tournament's rule on putters.

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Originally Posted by dsc123

I don't think OWGR needs to pick a side--they don't set rules.  They could simply ignore the difference and award points for finishes regardless of the tournament's rule on putters.

I would agree if the OWGR were a completely independent entity. They could do what they like.

But they are:

"endorsed by the four Major Championships and the six leading professional tours which make up the International Federation of PGA Tours."

I'm not exactly sure what 'endorsed' means here. I don't know if there is financial backing involved in any way and/or any 'contractual obligations'.

However, just because they currently endorse the OWGR doesn't mean that the R&A; and USGA (and The Masters and other Tours) might not decide to use a different ranking system in the event of bifurcation.

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Originally Posted by dsc123

I don't think OWGR needs to pick a side--they don't set rules.  They could simply ignore the difference and award points for finishes regardless of the tournament's rule on putters.

And the USGA and R&A; would be free to change their qualification requirements so they do not use the OWGRs.  Or any results obtained when using a proscribed method.  So it might not even be a matter of the anchoring guys switching to a short putter for the US and British Open (and maybe the Masters), they might not even be eligible.

Which actually brings up another interesting point.  Tours and tournaments have, from time to time, changed their eligibility requirements.  This has certainly affected some players and made the ineligible when previously they might have been eligible.  Does anyone think THEY would have a cause of action against a tour or tournament?  How about the club pros who lost out when the PGA tightened up their eligibility requirements to drastically reduce their number in the PGA Championship?

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Originally Posted by turtleback

Which actually brings up another interesting point.  Tours and tournaments have, from time to time, changed their eligibility requirements.  This has certainly affected some players and made the ineligible when previously they might have been eligible.  Does anyone think THEY would have a cause of action against a tour or tournament?  How about the club pros who lost out when the PGA tightened up their eligibility requirements to drastically reduce their number in the PGA Championship?

To be able to sue for something like this I'd imagine you'd have to be able to prove that something that had been promised, and which you had made decisions based upon, had then been changed at a later date affecting you personally.

In respect of tournaments I would imagine each year's version would exist as a separate entity and each would have separate rules and regulations that players would sign up to every year so the player wouldn't be able to say, "2013's rules were different to 2012's...Not fair!"

In regards to Tours changing rules or eligibility probably a good example would be the PGA getting rid of Tour School. They announced in March 2012 that Q-school in fall 2012 would be the last to provide direct entry onto the PGA Tour. I think it would be hard for a player to argue that they had already made specific decisions in their career that were specifically geared to qualifying for the PGA Tour at 2013 Q-school.

I guess what I'm saying is that if a dramatic change is announced far enough in advance then they are giving people the ability to adapt so it would be hard to argue it has cost you money.

Beyond all this, I would imagine every tournament or championship has a clause in their Terms & Conditions which basically says "We can do what we want, when we want!" Not because they specifically intend to use it, but to cover themselves in the event they have to make a major change (a sponsor goes broke and can't pay, for example).

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I don't think it will come to any of that. The PGA Tour will accept the Rules of Golf, I believe.

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