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PGA officially responds to cheating accusation against Phil Mickelson

January 30, 2010 |  1:52 pm

After Friday's contretemps over whether Phil Mickelson's use of a square-grooved wedge is skirting the spirit of a rule that bans most similar clubs, or whether Mickelson  (as Scott McCarron suggested) is out-and-out cheating or just a smart move by a player who is going by the letter of the law, the PGA issued a statement today about the use by some players of the Ping Eye 2 iron.

"Under the Rules of Golf and the 2010 Condition of Competition for Groove Specifications promulgated by the United States Golf Association, pre-1990 Ping Eye 2 irons are permitted for play and any player who uses them in PGA Tour-sanctioned events taking place in jurisdictions of the USGA is not in violation of the Rules of Golf; and

"Because of the use of pre-1990 Ping Eye 2 irons is permitted for play, public comments or criticisms characterizing their use as a violation of the Rules of Golf as promulgated by the USGA are inappropriate at best.

"Commissioner [Tim] Finchem will address this issue in greater detail on Tuesday, Feb. 2, during a regularly-scheduled player meeting and with the media during the 2010 Northern Trust Open."

In other words, we think this means McCarron should quit calling Mickelson a cheater and we'll all hear a lot more about square-grooved versus V-grooved clubs at Riviera Country Club next week at the Northern Trust.

-- Diane Pucin