A small firestorm erupted at the conclusion of this month's U.S. Open.
Webb Simpson's victory on Father's Day marked the second win in the past three major championships for a golfer wielding a 'long putter' (PGA champion Keegan Bradley also utilized a 'belly putter').
Belly putters and 'long' putters are typically anchored to your body in a manner that helps stabilize a putting stroke. Purists have long criticized their use since their introduction nearly three decades ago. Over time, rules makers have virtually ignored their use - but their recent venture into the 'major' winning circle has drawn attention to the subject.
Rumors are swirling that the USGA is working on language that would eliminate the use of 'long putters' and the anchoring technique. Many experts, however, feel that enacting a rules change now, after years of acceptance, would be difficult to enforce.
It will be interesting to see if any rule changes are enacted in the near future.
U.S. Public Links qualifier
Last Thursday, Sinking Valley Country Club hosted a qualifying tournament for the USGA's Public Links Championship.
In sweltering heat, 50-year old Sean Knapp, of Pittsburgh National Golf Club, shot a 36-hole total of even par, 144, to capture the lone spot available. The next competitor was eight shots back.
Knapp, one of the best amateur golfers in Pennsylvania, has won the West Penn Amateur a record seven times. He will be heading to Utah to compete in the U.S. Public Links in early July. (Anthony DeGol, of Hollidaysburg, will also be participating in the championship.)
The field of golfers for the 99th Pennsylvania Amateur has been finalized with three area golfers earning entry. Anthony DeGol of Hollidaysburg and Artie Fink Jr. of Altoona were both exempt into the field because of their recent performance in state events.
In addition, David DeGol Jr. of Hollidaysburg earned a spot into the prestigious tourney after shooting 74 and finishing in the top 16 at the western qualifier held at Cranberry Highlands Golf Club near Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
The three local participants will compete in the Pennsylvania Amateur held this year at Rolling Green Golf Club, near Philadelphia, July 30 through Aug. 1.