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 Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs

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Khorkar
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PostSubject: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:08 am

Something that I saw while browsing....... Interesting dilemma for Tour Players.


Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs
By Jay Busbee

The PGA Tour season's not even a month old, and we've already got our first major controversy. And Phil Mickelson has played exactly 18 holes, and he's smack-dab in the middle of it.

At issue are new club groove rules that went into effect on Jan. 1. Long story short: golfers were using specially-cut grooves on their clubs to spin the ball more sharply and play more effectively out of the rough; the penalty for putting a shot into the rough was thus minimized. So the USGA and the Royal & Ancient, two of golf's major governing bodies, decreed that such grooves were illegal and could not be used on Tour starting this year. (For more detail, check our handy guide to the new rules right here.)

However, golfers are expert at wiggling their way out of tough situations, and they discovered that a lawsuit Ping filed against the PGA Tour and the USGA way back in 1993 exempted wedges made before 1990 from the new rules. (Don't try to figure it out, just accept it.) Lo and behold, what should turn up in the bags of golfers like John Daly and Phil Mickelson but some vintage Ping Eye 2 wedges, clubs that are old enough to legally drink.

The golfers' decision to squeeze through the loophole hasn't sat well with many of their peers. "It's cheating, and I'm appalled Phil has put [the grandfathered club] into play," Scott McCarron, a three-time Tour winner, told the San Francisco Chronicle."All those guys should be ashamed of themselves for doing that ... As one of our premier players, (Mickelson) should be one of the guys who steps up and says this is wrong."

"I don't like it at all, not one bit," added Rocco Mediate. "It's against the spirit of the rule."

Mickelson conceded at a Wednesday press conference that while he knew the Eye 2 clubs didn't conform to the new rules, they nonetheless were legal, and that was good enough for him: "All that matters is it's OK under the rules of golf."

Ah, there it is: the "rules of golf." To a great extent, the USGA has no one to blame but itself for this situation. If the USGA allowed the Pings in, it can't then turn around and arbitrarily say they're not legal. Golf is defined by its rules, and selective enforcement here is no more justifiable than, say, taking a free drop when your ball doesn't end up exactly where you'd like it.

But ... golf is also a sport of self-policed rules. You call your own fouls. And from that standpoint, it makes sense that other players would expect Phil to step up and say that the spirit of the law ought to take precedence over the letter of the law. If he were to publicly distance himself from the clubs, plenty of other pros would, too.

Regardless, this is an early reminder of how it's going to be for Phil. In the absence of Tiger Woods, with the expectation that Phil will take over the No. 1 slot, every move he makes will be scrutinized, dissected and criticized. And if he wins, it'll only get that much worse.

Tour mate rips Mickelson for exploiting loophole [San Francisco Chronicle]
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chocoman
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PostSubject: Re: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:52 am

i love ping eye 2.

i have two sets of them at home but sold one off recently.

i am still using the s/w in my bag. more then 15 years old.

Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:53 am

Scott McCarron himself uses a broomstick long putter. Some feels that not using a short putter is also against the 'spirit' of the game. But then, long putter or belly putter are allowed under the rules of golf. So is the Ping Eye 2. What gives man? Who is he to call Mickelson a cheat? confused
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PostSubject: Re: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:17 pm

I agree with pocketace...

A Ping eye 2 is considered a "dinosaur" amongst the best golf iron clubs.

I can't figure out why it's called cheating.

Besides, aren't they supposed to check on the golf clubs first before they allow them to be used.

Our Big local tournament people would always checked on the golf equipment before letting them be played by the players.

If they have thoroughly checked on each bags, they should have reprimanded Phil for that club.

Kinda weird ...
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Khorkar
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PostSubject: Re: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:29 pm

I wonder if there is any Asian Tour players in this part of the region using Ping Eye 2 and what will the outcome be. Will they be DQed?
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PostSubject: Re: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:31 pm

Apparently, it's only legal on the PGA Tour... anywhere outside of the PGA, it's illegal
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PostSubject: Re: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:31 pm

pocketace wrote:
Scott McCarron himself uses a broomstick long putter. Some feels that not using a short putter is also against the 'spirit' of the game. But then, long putter or belly putter are allowed under the rules of golf. So is the Ping Eye 2. What gives man? Who is he to call Mickelson a cheat? confused

Lots of sourgrapes around
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PostSubject: Re: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:41 pm

I just hope the Asian Tour officials will not follow US PGA.

Its really weird on why they declare Ping eye2 to be illegal when it is still a "legal" club based on US PGA list of conforming irons.


besides, even Joh Daly and Dean Wilson have been using Ping Eye 2 wedges this year, Sony Open. If it was illegal, they should have commented on that since the beginning.
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PostSubject: Re: Tour players accuse Phil Mickelson of 'cheating' with old clubs   Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:49 pm

How is it cheating if the Ping Eye2 wedges are approved by USGA, even though it is the result of a screw up by USGA years ago?

See the debate here, http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/337011-mickelson-his-ping-eye2-wedges-topics-merged/

There are basicaly two camps -- people who believe that you're not committed to the sport enough if you don't use every rule to your advantage, and others who want to take the moral high ground and bitch about it. Very Happy

Bottom line, I don't consider that cheating, he just used a caveat in the rules. And other players could have done the same. If they chose the moral high ground and did not maximize the extent of the rules, that's their problem Razz

The Ping Eye2 can be used where USGA rules are used, and not elsewhere. Mickelson wont be able to use these wedges at The Open, where R&A rules apply.
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