Notebook: Hunter gets a bead on 'good sense'

2013-02-25T00:00:00Z Notebook: Hunter gets a bead on 'good sense'Patrick Finley and Daniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Hunter Mahan's two playing partners Sunday - Ian Poulter in the semis, Matt Kuchar in the finals - couldn't have been more different.

" 'Kooch' and I had more conversation on the first hole than I did with Poulter all day," Mahan said.

Mahan and Kuchar and their caddies talked throughout the finals, which Kuchar won 2 and 1 Sunday at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Poulter, by point of comparison, was "very steely out there," he said.

If Mahan has proven anything, though, it's that it doesn't matter who he faces in Match Play.

The 2012 champion was just as good, if not maybe a bit better, this year than last.

Before the final round, he had played 76 holes; only Luke Donald, in 2011, logged fewer.

Mahan left The Golf Club at Dove Mountain with a 15-5 Match Play career record; his 75 percent clip trails only Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy at the event.

The Oklahoma State graduate said he is "without a doubt" better now than he was last year.

"I think I have, I feel like, more control, more understanding of my game than I did back then, than last year," Mahan said. "I think I may have maybe played - through the conditions, I might have played slightly better this year."

He said he's developed "a better understanding of who I am and what I need to do to continue this type of play."

Mahan, who was ranked No. 25 in the World Golf Rankings before the tournament, will move into the top 20.

"I have a good sense of this golf course," he said. "I feel like I can play it well."

No anchoring ban

With Mahan and Kuchar battling in the championship match, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem held court Sunday afternoon with reporters.

He announced the PGA Tour will not ban anchor putters, hoping to put an end to the sport's largest controversy.

The USGA recently announced it would ban anchor putters - clubs that golfers hold against their body, rather than swinging as they would a traditional putter.

After study and discussion, Finchem said, the PGA Tour would not follow the USGA's recommendation.

"I think the essential thread that went through the thinking of the players and our board of directors - and others that looked at this - was the absence of data or any basis to conclude that there is a competitive advantage to be gained by using anchoring," Finchem said. "Given the amount of time that anchoring has been in the game, there was no overriding reason to go down that road."

Mahan said he feels anchoring is not "right," but that it doesn't necessarily provide a panacea for putting. He said the timing is "20 years too late."

Chip shots

• Vijay Singh recently confirmed he used a deer-antler spray, which contained the banned growth hormone IGF-1. Finchem said the Tour is close to announcing a decision on whether Singh will be suspended.

"We're in our process," Finchem said. "We are required to announce any kind of suspensions that emanate from the use of PEDs or other violations of the doping code.

"And if that is forthcoming, we will announce it in due course."

• Poulter, the fourth-place finisher, will move from No. 13 in the World Golf Rankings to within the top 10. He has five top-five finishes in World Golf Championships events.

Contact reporter Patrick Finley at pfinley@azstarnet.com or 573-4145. On Twitter @PatrickFinley. Contact Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk

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