Finchem says the tour intends to implement new groove rule on schedule in 2010

June 30, 2009

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem abruptly ended questions about implementing the U.S. Golf Association's new groove rule in 2010 with a single sentence during a teleconference Tuesday afternoon.

"It is our intention to move ahead and utilize the condition starting on Jan. 1, 2010," Finchem said.

The announcement came after a meeting of the PGA Tour Policy Board, which Finchem said decided to not take action and, following historical precedent, leave the decision on conditions of competition in the hands of the commissioner.

When the USGA and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews announced the rule change last August, it was with the intention that the new groove specifications would be less effective in creating spin for shots out of the rough. At that time, Finchem heartily endorsed the decision of golf's ruling bodies.

"The PGA Tour supports the decision of the United States Golf Association and The R&A regarding new groove specifications, and we plan to implement the rule change as a condition of competition for our events across the three Tours beginning January 1, 2010," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement. "We do so with full confidence that the testing and analytical procedure was extensive and thorough, including significant data provided by the tour's ShotLink scoring system and the support from our members for various types of field testing," Finchem added.

-- *Mike Stachura