Long putter debate lingers
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The first PGA Tour meeting on a proposed rule for long putters made only one thing clear to commissioner Tim Finchem. There's still a long way to go to decide what the tour will do, and it figures to be messy.
"It's a very different kind of issue, and it stirs a lot of strong feelings," Finchem said Wednesday in La Jolla, Calif., site of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. "So consequently, it's a difficult situation. Personally, I view the professional game as being the strongest it's ever been. So I don't like to see distractions, but it's not a perfect world."
Finchem also said there might be a place for bifurcation -- two sets of rules for the game -- in certain areas of golf, but he did not think the long putter issue was one of them.
The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced Nov. 28 a proposed rule that would outlaw players from anchoring the club against their bodies.
Still to be determined is the tour's official position on the proposed rule, which will require meetings with its Players Advisory Council and policy board. Another decision would be whether to enforce the rule earlier than 2016.
Ricardo Santos of Portugal made five birdies on his back nine to finish with a 7-under 65 in the opening round of the Qatar Masters in Doha, taking a one shot lead over Anthony Wall and Peter Whiteford.
The Cincinnati Reds started a countdown to a 2015 All-Star Game. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig awarded the midsummer game to Cincinnati and Great American Ball Park. The city hasn't played host to an All-Star Game since 1988, when the Reds played at Riverfront Stadium.
• Reliever Jason Motte and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.
• The Arizona Diamondbacks and shortstop Chris Pennington avoided an arbitration hearing by reaching a two-year, $5 million contract agreement,
• Infielder Jonathan Herrera and the Colorado Rockies agreed to a one-year, $900,000 contract, avoiding arbitration.
Charlie Strong got a long-term commitment from Louisville that makes him one of the top 10 highest-paid Division I-A football coaches. Strong and the university agreed on an eight-year contract extension that will pay Strong an annual base salary of $3.7 million, plus performance incentives worth $583,333 if Louisville wins the Bowl Championship Series national title game. Strong's base salary places him seventh among Division I-A coaches, just behind Iowa's Kirk Ferentz ($3.8 million). Strong earned $2.305 million in 2012.
• Ohio State announced that two players will no longer play for the Buckeyes, one because of injury and another who wishes to play closer to his home in Colorado. Sophomore linebacker Conner Crowell, from Waldorf, Md., decided to give up football. He has had two microfracture surgeries while at Ohio State for an injury that occurred while he was in high school. Freshman offensive lineman Joey O'Connor, from Windsor, Colo., requested a transfer to play closer to home. He was redshirted in the fall as the Buckeyes went 12-0 under first-year coach Urban Meyer.
The Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns was chosen as the site of the 2014 U.S. Olympic trials for short-track and long-track speed skating. The long-track trials are set for Dec. 27-Jan. 1, followed by the short-track trials from Jan. 2-Jan. 5.
Duquesne's Adam Clement (second round) and Joshua Patterson (third) were chosen in the Major League Soccer supplemental draft by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Chassidy Omogrosso, a standout 10th-grade point guard at Blackhawk High School, accepted a scholarship from Pitt and made a verbal commitment to the Panthers. Omogrosso is averaging 23 points this season.
• McKeesport officially re-hired George Smith as its football coach. He resigned after the 2009 season.
First Published January 24, 2013 12:40 am