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Tim Finchem speaks out for unified Rules of Golf

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has urged golf's two ruling bodies to come up with one set of rules to head off any future equipment problems.

Speaking in a teleconference on Wednesday, Finchem addressed the issue surrounding Callaway's ERC driver, which is banned by the U.S. Golf Association, but deemed legal by the Royal & Ancient.

The USGA sets the rules for competition in the U.S. and Canada, while the R&A does so for the rest of the world. Thus, the ERC driver is banned at PGA Tour events held in the U.S. but legal for those played overseas.

"We have encouraged the R&A and the USGA to have one set of rules, to figure out a way to come together," Finchem said.

"They share our concerns. Somewhere down the road, before additional equipment issues arise beyond the driver, we hope they come to grips with one system.

"In the meantime, when we play overseas, we will follow the R&A."

Finchem, as is his job, spoke glowingly of the state of the tour. Among other things, he said:

1 - prizemoney next year would reach about $180 million.

2 - the Hispanic fan base had increased 400 percent in the past few years.

3 - that Tiger Woods and the tour were on the same wavelength.

Woods last month slammed Finchem and revealed that he had some major problems with the tour. He expressed particular concern that companies sponsoring tour events were using his image, against his wishes, to promote their tournaments.

For example, Mercedes regularly takes out magazine adds featuring Woods to promote the Mercedes Championship, even though Woods is sponsored by another motor vehicle company.

"It's always in our interests to maintain the support of individual players," Finchem said. "He had some questions about our regulations with regard to image.

"We did not have any major disagreements. After we had an opportunity to share details, we are going to work very closely together in a lot of areas, walk down this path together."


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