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An ocean apart on rule

PGA of America, Royal & Ancient get into a testy tiff over putting rule, female golf-club members.

THE BIGGEST RIVALRY in golf at the moment could be the heads of two different organizations on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

PGA of America president Ted Bishop has been vocal about his opposition to the proposed rule that would ban the anchored stroke used for long putters. Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson last week referred to Bishop's public comments as a "campaign."

"The PGA of America knows my views about this, and I'm disappointed at the way that campaign was conducted," Dawson said. "It put rule-making onto the negotiating table. The negotiating table is no place for rule-making to take place. Obviously, the feelings are strong. We shall have to see where it goes."

Bishop took it one step further in an interview and exchange of emails with Golf World magazine, in which he revealed details of his encounter with Dawson during the Masters and questioned the R & A's male-only membership.

"I find that to be very curious and perplexing, given the fact that the R & A has not been inclusive, as evidenced by their unwillingness to accept women as members to the R & A," Bishop told the magazine.

"This is a much different approach than we have taken in America."