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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mickelson won't use 'illegal' wedge


Advertiser News Services

Phil Mickelson won't be using the Ping Eye2 wedge that led a fellow player to accuse him of "cheating," even though he hopes others will use the controversial club to keep attention on what he calls a ridiculous rule.

"I won't be playing that wedge. My point has been made," Mickelson said yesterday on the eve of his two-time title defense of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera in Los Angeles. "But if these governing bodies cannot get together to fix this loophole, if players stop using this wedge which would stop the pressure of the issue then I will relook at it and put the wedge back in play."

The Ping wedge has grooves that no longer conform under a new USGA regulation, adopted by the PGA Tour. However, any Ping wedge made before April 1, 1990, is approved for play under a legal settlement from two decades ago.

Mickelson is among five players who have used the Ping wedge in competition this year.

Several players believe using the club goes against the spirit of the new grooves regulation, although Scott McCarron fueled the debate when he said of Mickelson and others, "It's cheating."

MORE GOLF

Ryder Cup assistants: U.S. captain Corey Pavin has selected four players to be his assistants at the Ryder Cup this year, including two players who have never competed in the matches.

Pavin said yesterday he picked Tom Lehman, Davis Love III, Jeff Sluman and Paul Goydos.

Lehman was the Ryder Cup captain in 2006 and Pavin was one of his assistants that year. Love still hopes to make the Ryder Cup team, while Sluman never competed in the Ryder Cup and Goydos said his only Ryder Cup experience was watching on TV.

BASEBALL

Verlander to get $80 million: Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to an $80 million, five-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity last night because the deal had not been announced. Verlander won a career-high 19 games with a 3.45 ERA last season. He is 65-43 with a 3.92 ERA in four seasons with the Tigers.

Kotchman, Mariners agree: Casey Kotchman and the Mariners agreed yesterday to a one-year contract worth $3,517,500, settling Seattle's last salary arbitration case this year.

The Mariners announced the deal for the 26-year-old first baseman less than a month after they acquired him from Boston for outfielder Bill Hall.

BOXING

Mayweather, Mosley on: Floyd Mayweather Jr. made it official yesterday by signing a contract to fight Shane Mosley on May 1 in a welterweight bout.

The scheduled 12-round fight will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Mayweather is undefeated in 40 fights with 25 knockouts. Mosley is 46-5 with 39 KOs.

COLLEGE HOOPS

Scare for No. 1 Kansas: Marcus Morris scored six of his 15 points in overtime to help top-ranked Kansas avoid what would have been the season's biggest upset with a 72-66 victory over host Colorado last night.

Cole Aldrich recorded his fourth straight double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds and he blocked five shots to help the Jayhawks (21-1, 7-0 Big 12) beat the Buffaloes (11-11, 2-6) for the 14th straight time.