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The Ping Eye 2 wedges, provided they were made before April 1, 1990, are approved for play, even though the depth and volume of the grooves in those wedges are not allowed. Attribute that to a pair of lawsuits Ping settled against the USGA (1990) and the PGA (1993) over square grooves. The settlements take precedence over any rules change.
What makes this situation awkward is that not everyone has access to them unless they find the wedges on eBay, in garages or used club bins. Padraig Harrington spent the holidays giving away his old clubs to charity -- including his Pings -- only to find out he could still use them.
First, however, is getting around this name-calling.
Asked about his "cheating" quote, McCarron didn't back off the next day, although he described Mickelson's actions as "bending the rules." That would be akin to "barracuda."
Still, the damage had been done.
Mickelson's camp has been checking the Internet and has lost track of how many times "cheating" and "Mickelson" are found together.
For those who thought McCarron might apologize Monday, he chose to clarify instead. He said he never called Mickelson a "cheater." He only said that by using the Ping wedge, it was "cheating." Glad to get that cleared up.
The tour can choose to fine or suspend McCarron under its "conduct unbecoming a professional" policy, which prohibits players from making comments to the media that unreasonably attack or disparage other players (among other things).
Then again, the tour has a policy of not disclosing discipline.
Perhaps the most troubling part of Ping chairman John Solheim's statement on Monday is that he told the USGA and PGA Tour in July 2007 that changing the regulations on grooves could lead to what is happening now -- confusion, consternation, accusations.
Finchem was to meet with players Tuesday night at Riviera and speak to the media on Wednesday. The best-case scenario is that McCarron and Mickelson can make peace, and that Finchem can find a solution to the Ping wedges.
Then he can go back to wondering when Woods will return.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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