by Jeff Skinner
Just when we thought the pros would concentrate on playing golf and not the controversies and scandals surrounding golf all hell breaks loose at Torrey Pines. The much anticipated debut of fan favorite Phil Mickelson has stirred more controversy then ever expected. Phil and a few others are playing the twenty year old Ping Eye 2 that was grandfathered in under a lawsuit settled by Ping and the USGA. Under the lawsuit even though the groove design is illegal according to the new rule change, the club has been approved for play forever. By the terms of the settlement the club is legal.
So now, some players, led by Scott McCarron, have called Phil a cheater. From the San Francisco Chronicle, “I think it’s cheating…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.”
Phil took the high road when asked about McCarron’s remarks and says he agrees that the rule is “ridiculous.” He even said he agreed with McCarron about the loophole but still feels he is within the rules and indeed he is right. Phil has been peeved about this change for a year. He said he has “sent in legal grooves and they have not been approved for play.” He states that the problem is we have two standards: Legal and conforming clubs and approved for play and they are not the same thing.
Personally I think Phil is trying to put it to the USGA and force them to clean up this mess of a loophole which has given golf another black eye at a time when they need it the least. Phil in the role of bad guy? Are you kidding me? This weekend should be fun!
Another revelation occurred at Torrey pines when John Daly told his producer from the new Golf Channel show, Being John Daly that he was done with golf. After missing the cut at Torrey, Daly was so depressed with his play that he said, “I’m done” and when asked with what, he responded “golf, I can’t compete.” (John’s interview.) Daly appeared solemn and on the verge of tears during a clip shown on The Golf Channel when he said, “I just can’t do it anymore,” Daly continued. “I can’t keep taking spots from guys out here playing this bad.” We’ll see if Daly retires or gets a new perspective when he is able to put this week’s poor play behind him. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of John Daly, not by a long shot.