PGA Tour Confidential: Poulter rallies to win WGC-HSBC Champions in China

Keegan Bradley
Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images
Keegan Bradley has won a major and become one of the biggest U.S. stars while using a belly putter.

SEE YOU IN COURT?
Godich: Speaking of belly putters, you knew it was going to happen. Word is that Keegan Bradley is contemplating legal action if the powers-that-be enact rules to ban the belly putter. If Bradley goes through with a suit, will he have a putter to lean on?

Garrity: He'll have lots of putters to lean on. He just won't be able to use them in tournaments.

Herre: Good luck, Keegan, and I hope you have saved every last cent.

Dusek: As much as I detest the idea of banning anchored putters, I don't understand the grounds for a legal battle. The USGA and the R&A makes the rules of the game, and the PGA Tour chooses to play by them. Do we know what Keegan would base a potential suit on?

Herre: Talk is cheap.

Van Sickle: Talk is cheap unless it's your lawyer talking. Then it's very, very expensive. It would be an exciting court case, though.

Hanger: I think the ban would be silly, but I don't see how the players could win a lawsuit. The ruling bodies have a right to make the rules for the game, and the players are free agents, not employees of the PGA Tour.

Ritter: I just don't see how taking the governing body of your sport to court over a rule you don't agree with can make for a viable legal case. But yes, it would make for good TV.

Bamberger: I don't think he'd go through with a suit. At the end of the day, he's the shut-up-and-play type. How can a pro say that the USGA and the R&A can't make the rules of golf? That's what they DO. You may not like them, but it's what they do.

Walker: I don't think Bradley would have much of a case, but it would be a fun storyline for The Good Wife.

Van Sickle: Bradley is not alone. Tim Clark and Carl Pettersson would probably join him. I don't think a player revolt against the USGA is out of the question, and it's going to make PGA Tour players finally ask, "Exactly why are we letting somebody else dictate the rules to us?" Instead of a lawsuit, they'd be better off (and far more likely) to petition the PGA Tour to break away and take over as its own governing body. I think some players would go for that.

Herre: The PGA Tour pros would love it, but I can't see the Tour taking such a radical step. The Tour has always sought cover under the Rules of Golf.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Would a Bradley lawsuit have a shot at success?

ASIAN EXPANSION
Godich: The PGA Tour announced that the HSBC will be an official Tour event in 2013. It was the only of the four WGC events not so designated, but it is half-a-world away from Ponte Vedra Beach. Should we be surprised by this announcement?

Bamberger: Oh no. Like the detectives always say, follow the money.

Dusek: Hell no. Would anyone be surprised if more Asian-based PGA Tour events were added in the next decade?

Herre: Count on it. The Euro tour expanded to Asia out of desperation. It looks like a good move now. We'll be seeing more and more golf from the places where the game is growing.

Van Sickle: I expect more tournaments in Asia in the next few years. It's good news for the PGA Tour but, long-term, maybe not so good for sponsors of some American-based Tour events.

Walker: I'm more interested in seeing if the PGA Tour can create golfers and golf fans in China beyond the wealthy. Based on Alan Shipnuck's reporting last week, progress there is mixed.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Are you surprised the Tour is making the HSBC an official event?

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