Tim Finchem tells the PGA Tour players they have options concerning the groove situation and one of them was to work out an agreement with John Solheim of Ping. Didn’t you already work that out in 1993? Solheim takes issue with Finchem’s declaration that The PGA Tour could implement a special rule banning the Ping Eye 2’s. Solheim‘s statement:
“PGA Tour Commissioner Finchem and I had a brief discussion this afternoon and he shared his belief that the 1993 settlement agreement allowed his organization to utilize the protocol to consider a special rule that would ban Ping Eye2 irons and wedges. While we strongly disagree with their interpretation of the agreement, we agreed further dialogue on the topic was healthy. We hope to speak again in the next week or so. I’ve also been in contact with the USGA and expect to meet with them as well.’’
It doesn’t sound like John thinks that rule is an option. Solheim holds all the cards here and the fact that Finchem thinks he can renegotiate the 1993 agreement is comical. Solheim’s company has been a leader in golf technology for fifty years and to think Solheim will sign up for anything that limits his technological advancements, past or present, is hard to believe.
Phil Mickelson has taken off the black hat and put his white hat back on again. He has forsaken his role as the bad boy rebel of the PGA Tour and retreated back into is familiar role of perennial good guy. Phil has taken the Weapon of Mass Confusion out of his bag for this week. He is still frustrated by the situation but says he has too much respect for his fellow PGA Tour pros:
“In regards to the groove and playing the club and whatnot, I have been very upset over the way the entire groove rule has come about and its total lack of transparency. I’m very upset with the way the rule came about, the way one man essentially can approve or not approve a golf club based on his own personal decision regardless of what the rule says. This has got to change. To come out and change a rule like this that has a loophole has got to change. It’s ridiculous. It hurts the game, and you cannot put the players in a position to interpret what the rule has meant. That’s why we have a decisions book, to decide this stuff.
I respect these players out here. I like and respect these players. And last year when my wife and I were at one of our low points, these players came together and did one of the nicest things that could have ever been done to show support, and it meant tons for me. And out of respect for them, I do not want to have an advantage over anybody, whether it’s perceived or actual.”
I am disappointed that Phil has yanked the Ping from his bag. I was hoping he would keep putting it to the Tour and the USGA. I liked the Phil with the attitude and the axe to grind. You think there’s any chance that Tim Finchem played the “for the good of the Tour “ card or maybe he just got down on his knees and begged Phil for mercy: “ Please, please, please Phil…I’m dying here!” I bet Phil got a little heat from the commish but Phil made his point. He made it big time.