Continued from page 1

“We believe in the notion that one body of rules is important, and that’s always our intent,” Finchem said.

Finchem conceded that the notion of bifurcation was bound to become a topic. He said most sports have differences in the amateur and professional levels.

“Personally, I think in some situations bifurcation is OK,” he said. “I’m not so sure bifurcation is important in this particular case, but we’re not at a point yet where I am opining on what we think we should do.”

The USGA said its research showed the number of players using an anchored stroke has increased in recent years to about 15 percent. A large majority of pros use a conventional putter with a free-swinging stroke, and Woods has been among those outspoken in favor of a ban.

Finchem recognized both sides of the debate.

“The people who want to see anchoring go away firmly believe that they have the best interest of the game at heart,” he said. “The people who don’t think it’s necessary, I think, are equally robust in their enthusiasm for what’s best for the game. I hope as this process unfolds, we can keep that in perspective and have a conversation about it and discussion about it and debate about it that is positive. And thus far, I think that’s what has happened.”