McCarron accuses Lefty of 'cheating'
SAN DIEGO — Already missing Tiger Woods because of a sex scandal, the PGA Tour headed into another mess yesterday when a player accused Phil Mickelson of "cheating" for using wedges that are allowed under a legal technicality.
"It's cheating, and I'm appalled Phil has put it in play," Scott McCarron said in yesterday's edition of The San Francisco Chronicle.
Mickelson is among at least four players at Torrey Pines using a Ping-Eye 2 wedge that was made 20 years ago and has square grooves. Such grooves now are banned on the PGA Tour because of a new USGA regulation this year that irons have V-shaped grooves.
The square-groove Ping wedges remain legal, however, because of a lawsuit that Ping filed against the USGA that was settled in 1990. Under the settlement, any Ping-Eye 2 made before April 1, 1990, remains approved because it takes precedence over any rule change.
McCarron's comments resonated across Torrey Pines because "cheating" is considered one of the dirtiest accusations in a sport that prides itself on honesty and players calling penalties on themselves.
Mickelson refused to be drawn into a debate with McCarron over his choice of words, but rather criticized the USGA for adopting such a rule change in the first place, especially knowing that this loophole might cause problems.
"It's a terrible rule. To change something that has this kind of loophole is nuts," Mickelson said. "But it's not up to me or any other player to interpret what the rule is or the spirit of the rule. I understand black and white. And I think that myself or any other player is allowed to play those clubs because they're approved — end of story."
McCarron, a three-time winner who missed the cut yesterday, said he was not singling out Mickelson for cheating, but rather every player who chose to use the old Ping wedges because he felt it violated the spirit of the new rule.
Points, Imada share lead: D.A. Points fired a 7-under 65 on the tough South Course at Torrey Pines, giving him a share of the lead with Ryuji Imada in the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. Imada also played the South and shot 68. They were at 11-under 133 and two shots ahead of Matt Every (70) and Michael Sim (62).
Daly says he's through: John Daly, who shot 71—150 and missed the cut by nine shots, said yesterday he was done with golf. Whether that meant for the rest of the West Coast Swing or the rest of his career will not be determined until the two-time major champion stops going to PGA Tour events.