New rules give edge to Woods

BETHESDA, Maryland - Tiger Woods is looking forward to new rules adopted on Tuesday by the US Professional Golfers' Association Tour that will limit grooves on irons from next year, making it tougher to spin the ball.

BETHESDA, Maryland - Tiger Woods is looking forward to new rules adopted on Tuesday by the US Professional Golfers' Association Tour that will limit grooves on irons from next year, making it tougher to spin the ball.

US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem decided to move forward with the change in time for a PGA deadline after the association's nine-member Tour Policy Board chose not to make a ruling on a bid to delay the move until 2011.

"We do think there are some challenges here. We are comfortable that we can meet the challenges," Finchem said. "I concluded that delaying at this point in time probably was not in our best overall interests."

The groove changes are aimed at making it harder for players to land the ball on the greens from the rough by limiting the amount of spin on the ball, helping courses fight obsolescence because of improvements in technology. They are likely to give Woods, a 14-time major champion, another edge on his rivals.

"It's great," Woods said. "We've known for a couple years now what this decision was going to be and we've had time to make our adjustments.

"It'll be an advantage to the guys who play spin golf balls already. Guys who play harder balls are going to have to make a bigger adjustment to the grooves. "I play a pretty soft ball. I'll have to make less of an adjustment than most."

Finchem will meet counterparts from other global tours at the British Open to encourage a similar change on their circuits for next season.

Players will have six months to adjust to the US PGA's new groove rule.

Courses near PGA tournaments will be used for testing as equipment becomes available. - AFP

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