Posted January 30, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Tim Clark would have been easy to miss among dozens of PGA Tour players who poured out of a hotel ballroom after a two-hour meeting on the proposed ban of the stroke used for long putters, except he was the only guy with a suitcase.
Clark didn't bring golf clubs to Torrey Pines, only an overnight bag. He didn't play in the tournament last week, but he paid his way to San Diego just so he could be at the mandatory player meeting, the one Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson did not attend. The special guest was US Golf Association executive director Mike Davis, invited to explain the proposed rule on anchoring and to take any questions.
Clark wanted to be heard.
''I didn't realize until that night he wasn't in the field,'' golfer Lucas Glover said. ''I thought it was very courageous of him to do what he did. He flew here. He spent his own money to get here and back for something he cares about. My opinion on it doesn't matter. He spoke his mind in a respectful way. He did not lash out. He asked honest questions and stated honest opinions. And I was proud of him. The way he handled himself was brilliant.''
No one has more to lose over this ban than Clark.
He has a genetic condition that keeps him from turning his forearms and wrists inward. Clark has anchored the long putter to his chest for about as long as anyone has seen him play. Despite the physical limitations - Clark has never ranked higher than 140th in driving distance - he has won The Players Championship, Australian Open, Scottish Open and twice his home South African Open.
Based on several accounts of those in the room, Clark spoke with dignity and integrity.
''I think what he did to fly in for the meeting showed a lot,'' golfer Keegan Bradley said. ''He's got something he wants to stand up for, and that's something I admire. He presented some nice points. When he talks, people listen.''
Exactly what Clark said remains private, another show of respect by his peers.
Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is headed back to San Diego this week to meet with the USGA before its annual meeting. Finchem said the tour's objective had always been to follow the lead of the USGA and R&A for rules. He also said there might be a place for two sets of rules in golf, though perhaps not in the case of anchored strokes.
Golfer Geoff Ogilvy felt the majority of players who don't use an anchored stroke are ambivalent about the proposed rule and that ''the passion is coming from 5 percent.''
He was impressed with Clark, especially with how prepared he was.
''He's been researching this the whole offseason,'' Ogilvy said. ''He basically put his position out there, and probably positions that Mike hadn't thought about or didn't acknowledge as importantly as Tim saw them.
''What Tim did achieve . . . whether he had any effect on the USGA position, a big portion of the ambivalent people were on Tim's side when they walked out of the room.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
It was a Monday finish and Tiger Woods pulled off another win at Torrey Pines. Some courses just set up nicely to the eye for one reason or another. That is the case for Torrey Pines and Tiger Woods. This is Woods 75th PGA tour win. He has won at Torrey Pines 6 other times and one U.S. Open Championship bringing his win total to 8 at Torrey Pines. It looked like the Tiger was losing...
The Masters is 2-1/2 months away, but Tiger Woods' four-shot victory last week in San Diego made the bookies in Las Vegas take notice. Woods has been installed as the favorite to win the PGA Tour's first major championship of the 2013 season.
Woods, who hasn't won at Augusta National since 2005, is a 9-2 pick to win his fifth green jacket. After the '05 victory,...
The numbers would have been stronger if not for weather delays, but Tiger Woods‘ victory at the Farmers Insurance Open was still a strong draw on CBS. Third and final round coverage of the Farmers [...]
(Eds: With AP Photos.) By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer Tiger Woods hates the question, even though the answer should be simple enough.
Is he back?
Woods was asked that when he ended his 749-day drought by winning his World Challenge at the end of 2011. The question came up in various forms last year after each of his wins at Bay Hill, Memorial and the AT&T National at Congressional...
Your correspondent has emphatically said for years that golf performance should not be evaluated by 10-minute intervals. That notion tends to get lost in these days of Internet immediacy, in these days of the hole-by-hole Tiger Tracker, when one hole of tweeted play-by-play carries too much word weight and lacks big-picture perspective.
Yes, Tiger Woods visited some ice plant after...
PGA Tour golfer Vijay Singh admitted that he used the same deer-antler spray that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis used in his recovery from a torn right triceps. Singh's use of the spray was first revealed in a report by
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps is taking on a new sport and getting very serious about it. Phelps signed on with Ping, who will provide his clubs beginning
Photo Credit: Jake Roth USA Today
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson entered the Farmers Insurance Open coming off disappointing finishes the previous week. Tiger didn’t even make it to the weekend, missing the cut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Phil, on the other hand, did make the cut, but only finished in a tie for thirty-seventh. It’s safe to say that both came into Torrey...
American Alison Walshe birdied the 17th hole Friday and shot an opening-round 6-under-par 66 to take a one-stroke lead at the Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines.
Jessica Korda, the daughter of former tennis player Petr Korda who won last year's Women's Australian Open at Royal Melbourne in a playoff for her first LPGA Tour victory, was in second place.