Already missing Tiger Woods because of a sex scandal, the PGA Tour headed into another mess Friday when Scott McCarron accused fellow player Phil Mickelson of "cheating" for using a wedge that is allowed under a legal technicality.
SAN DIEGO — Already missing Tiger Woods because of a sex scandal, the PGA Tour headed into another mess Friday when a player accused Phil Mickelson of “cheating” for using a wedge that is allowed under a legal technicality.
“It’s cheating, and I’m appalled Phil has put it in play,” Scott McCarron said in Friday’s editions of The San Francisco Chronicle.
Mickelson was among at least four players in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines using a Ping Eye2 wedge that was made about 20 years ago and has square grooves. Such grooves usually 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, though, because of a lawsuit Ping filed against the USGA that was settled in 1990. Under that settlement, any Ping Eye2 made before April 1, 1990, remains approved because it takes precedence over any rule change.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, PGA executive Ty Votaw contends there is a settlement with Ping from 1993 with “different conditions” that would allow the Tour to ban the clubs.
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McCarron’s comments resonated across Torrey Pines because “cheating” is one of the worst accusations in a sport that prides itself on honesty and players calling penalties on themselves.
Mickelson declined 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 the 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, who missed the cut Friday, was asked if he regretted his choice of words.
“That anybody using that wedge is cheating?” he responded. “I still feel strongly about it.”
Meanwhile, D.A. Points shot a 7-under-par 65 in the second round to tie Ryuji Imada (68) for the lead at 11-under 133.
Matt Every (70) and Michael Sim (62) were tied for third place at 9 under.
Mickelson (67) was tied for 10th at 7 under.
Alex Prugh (71), a former Washington Huskies player from Spokane, was tied for 15th at 6 under. PGA Tour rookie Prugh finished fifth Monday in the Bob Hope Classic, earning $200,000.
Michael Putnam (68) of University Place was tied for 21st in the Farmers at 5 under.
Players with scores worse than 142 missed the cut. That group included Ryan Moore (70-74 — 144) of Puyallup and Jeff Gove (76-75 — 151) of Seattle. Including three Tour events last year, Moore entered the tournament with five consecutive top-10 finishes.
Daly says he is through — or not
SAN DIEGO — John Daly missed his second cut in as many PGA Tour starts this year and said he was done with golf. Whether that meant for the rest of the West Coast Swing or the rest of his career would not be determined until the two-time major champion stopped going to Tour events.
Daly missed the Farmers cut by eight shots. Stopped in the parking lot by a crew from Golf Channel, which is filming his reality show, Daly said in a series of clipped responses, “I’m done. … Just can’t play like I used to.”
When the Golf Channel questioner said he will be missed, Daly responded, “What, for bad golf?”
But on his Twitter account Friday night, Daly wrote, “never said retirement” shortly after writing “my financial situation is putting me where I cannot focus on my game. I’m putting too much pressure on myself.”
Daly threatened to quit after shooting an 88 at the Buick Open last summer.
• American Robert Gates shot a 4-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead in the Nationwide Tour’s season-opening New Zealand Open. Gates had a 16-under 200 total. Andrew Dodt (70) was in second.
Jess Daley (72), a Kentwood High School graduate, and Kyle Stanley (75) of Gig Harbor were among players tied for 52nd place at 2 under.