Golf, PGA Tour, Sports, USGA

Did I Miss Something Here But Since When Did The PGA Tour Turn Into A Free For All ………. ?


Did I Miss Something Here But Since When Did The PGA Tour Turn Into A Free For All ………. ?

Now we all know that the PGA Tour is missing Tiger Woods, dearly and ‘The Tour’ essentially without him, becomes somewhat non-descript . Those who think otherwise, really do need to get their heads examined. Without Woods on the PGA Tour, is in essence like having a four course meal at a swank restaurant but then being told that the chef can’t prepare the ‘main course’ due to unforeseen circumstances . So the maitre-de’ would like to know if you’d prepare to accept a ‘doggy bag’ instead ? That in essence is now what’s being served up until Woods’ returns to the golf course from his self imposed exile.

Ben Crane walks up the 18th fairway during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 in San Diego. photo  appears  courtesy  of  the  Associated  Press/ Lenny Ignelzi  ......
Ben Crane walks up the 18th fairway during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 in San Diego. photo appears courtesy of the Associated Press/ Lenny Ignelzi ......

Now don’t get me but when a sport become so self reliant on just one major star to make its presence felt on the global stage. To me that signifies that there’s either something seriously wrong within the sport itself. Or the mere fact that the USGA and the PGA are seemingly at a loss as to what to do about the whole situation. Granted , PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem , feels that the game and Tour itself can proceed along without Woods at present. But with each passing tournament and the player’s none appearance and the likelihood that he won’t be returning for some considerable time. It has to be exacerbating for all concerned ! Losses are mounting up for a number of tournaments , wherein Woods had been expected to compete at the start of the season. And that doesn’t add in the ancillary losses that’ve been borne by a number of small and major companies that would service these tournaments, as well as the PGA Tour. Never mind the fact that the hospitality industry must be quaking from this all . But as we know there has to be a silver lining to it all. Well at least , that’s what Tim Finchem is hoping for.

Phil Mickelson is bent over in frustration after his eagle putt on the sixth hole rimmed out during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 in San Diego.  photo appears  courtesy  of  Associated Press / Lenny Ignelzi   .........
Phil Mickelson is bent over in frustration after his eagle putt on the sixth hole rimmed out during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 in San Diego. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Lenny Ignelzi .........

With the world’s number one golfer absent from the Tour , it was felt that his closest rival in the rankings , Phil Mickelson would step up to the plate and lead the charge. Well, that’s akin to having Paris Hilton take you on a tour of the American Library of Congress and then finding out that ‘her knowledge’ of that edifice borders on that of Borat’s first cousin from Kazakhstan. Well, perhaps not quite that bad. But Mickelson’s dominance on the Tour is more often than not just fleeting. He has his throng of supporters but he also has a great many none supporters. If anything the one golfer that most fans seem more attuned to and seemingly have more sympathy for is not Phil Mickelson but ‘two time golf major winner’ , John Daly. But Daly’s accomplishments of late, haven’t been on the golf course but more so what he’s been doing off it. His slide down from the upper echelons of the sport , can be best described as one never-ending nightmare. From bouts of alcoholism , run-ins with law enforcement , claims of spousal abuse , to multiple divorces, to being on the verge of bankruptcy. This is how one could essentially sum up John Daly’s life as of late. As to his competitiveness on the golf course ? Well , let’s just say that if he’s even par for a round then he’s had an exceptionally good day. But the fact is , Daly is now more reliant from getting a sponsor’s exemption to participate on the Tour , than he is to be an actual entered contestant for an event.

Jim "Bones" McKay wipes clean the controversial Ping Eye 2 sand wedge being used by Phil Mickelson after Mickelson hit a sand shot with the club during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course Saturday Jan. 30, 2010 in San Diego. photo  appears  courtesy of  Associated  Press / Lenny Ignelzi   ......

Jim ‘Bones’ McKay (caddie) wipes clean the controversial Ping Eye 2 sand wedge used by Mickelson after the player hit a sand shot with the club during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego , California. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Lenny Ignelzi …….

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Mickelson accepts apology, won’t use wedge

By Doug Ferguson , AP Golf Writer

Los Angeles (AP)—Phil Mickelson won’t be using the Ping Eye2 wedge that led a fellow player to accuse him of “cheating,” even though he hopes others will use the controversial club to keep attention on what he calls a ridiculous rule.

“I won’t be playing that wedge. My point has been made,” Mickelson said on Wednesday on the eve of his two-time title defense at Riviera. “But if these governing bodies cannot get together to fix this loophole, if players stop using this wedge—which would stop the pressure of the issue—then I will relook at it and put the wedge back in play.”

The Ping wedge has grooves that no longer conform under a new U.S. Golf Association regulation, adopted by the U.S. PGA Tour. However, any Ping wedge made before April 1, 1990, is approved for play under a legal settlement from two decades ago.

Mickelson is among five players who have used the Ping wedge in competition this year.

Several players believe using the club goes against the spirit of the new grooves regulation, although Scott McCarron fueled the debate when he said of Mickelson and others, “It’s cheating.”

Mickelson hinted at legal action after saying he was “publicly slandered.” He said McCarron offered him a sincere apology late Tuesday, which he accepted.

“We all make mistakes, and we all say things we wish we could take back,” Mickelson said. “I’ve done it a bunch in my career. And the fact that it’s also not easy to come up and face that person, look them in the eye and apologize … I appreciate him being a big enough man to do that.”

Instead, Mickelson vented his anger at the USGA and its lack of transparency in developing the new rules for grooves. He has complained that he’s submitted wedges that fit the guidelines, only for the USGA to reject the club for violating the intent of the new rule.

“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,” Mickelson said. “This has got to change.”

The next step remains murky.

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In order to read Doug Ferguson’s article in its entirety
just click unto the link provided.
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Phil Mickelson looks on after hitting a bunker shot on the sixth hole during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, in San Diego. Mickelson is among at least four players at the tournament using a Ping-Eye 2 wedge that was made 20 years ago and has square grooves.  Such grooves now are banned on the tour because of a new U.S. Golf Association 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.   photo appears  courtesy  of Associated  Press / Lenny Ignelzi     ........
Phil Mickelson looks on after hitting a bunker shot on the sixth hole during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, in San Diego. Mickelson is among at least four players at the tournament using a Ping-Eye 2 wedge that was made 20 years ago and has square grooves. Such grooves now are banned on the tour because of a new U.S. Golf Association 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. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Lenny Ignelzi ........

At the PGA Tour’s most recent event a controversy erupted that embroiled Phil Mickelson and Scott McCarron and wherein there were accusations of cheating on the part of Mickelson. These accusations specifically targeted Mickelson and were made by McCarron and directed at Mickelson. Mickelson clearly denies any wrongdoing on his part. But there is more to this all than meets the eye. It’s not so much that there has been an ongoing feud between the two players in question. But essentially what this boils down to are the rules of the game and the presumed etiquette of the players. Golf has always been a sport that is self governing as to the on course play and etiquette of its players. Unlike other sports where a player may well have flouted or unwittingly broken a rule. Then that player is required by the rules of the PGA as well as that of the USGA to either notify the officials that they’ve contravened or broken rule, therefore immediately disqualify themselves from further play , dependent upon the severity of the rule broken or that of an adjudication forthcoming from a tournament official.

The controversy itself erupted out of the use of what is believed to be an illicit club used by Mickelson at the Farmers’ Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California. The event itself is one that Woods usually would use as one the openers to his season. It carries with it a total purse of $5.3 million, with $954,000 going to the winner. Much of what happened is opened to a great deal of speculation and conjecture. But this much is known, throughout the tournament Mickelson used a Ping #2 eye club which is not normally used for competitive play by the USGA and the PGA. Though the rules itself are somewhat vague on this issue. Mickelson for his part knew of the regulations but states his reason for using the club (which gives the golfer an additional advantage in his putting because of the grooves aligned along the putting surface aids the ball in its trajectory and direction) – was in fact to bring this all to the PGA’s attention and that in no way was it his intention to be viewed as a ‘cheat’ . Now far be it for me to suggest but Mickelson’s argument doesn’t stand the ‘litmus test’ and there’s no veracity there whatsoever. If you know that there’s indeed an issue that needs to be raised concerning a specific type of equipment , you don’t intentionally go out to break the rules of the game to draw it the governing board’s attention. The appropriate thing to do , is to make the PGA aware of the situation and let them make a statement with regard to the equipment and whether or not its use will be prohibited.

McCarron for his part, was duly upset that Mickelson carried on playing throughout the tournament using the club in question. It constituted a heated debate between the two rivals which only added to the excitement of what was to be a somewhat droll tournament. The Farmers’ Open was won by Ben Crane, who carded a 70, -2 under par for the final round with an aggregate total of 275 for a -13 under par , with a winning margin of one stroke over Marc Leishman, who finished in second place. Mickelson finished a distant 19th, some five strokes behind the winner. His performance throughout the tournament was somewhat pedantic even by his lofty standards.

Though the tension between the two players , McCarron and Mickelson has simmered somewhat. It has brought some much needed attention to golf in the wake of Tiger Woods’ absence. Suffice to say, if you’re having more controversy off the course than the more exhilarating play that there ought to on the golf course. Then why not create some controversy on it , if it means garnering some much unwanted attention that call for player to be viewed openly flouting the rules of the game even if he states that he was trying to bring attention to something that’s wrong with the sport to begin with. By my way of thinking , all we need now is for Vijay Singh or Ernie Els or another of the Tour’s prominent golfers to be caught in a sordid sex scandal involving multiple partners and some farm animals. Oh shit, that’s already happened with Woods , hasn’t it ? Minus the farm animals that is . But then again, who knows what sexual proclivities that’ve yet to be unearthed concerning Tiger Woods ? For the moment however, we’ll have to put up with the likes of McCarron and Mickelson carrying on like adolescent schoolboys at it, in the playground leveling accusations at one another for the most mundane of reasons. It just goes to show how boring the sport can become when there’s not someone there that the fans can actually gravitate towards.

Ah well, some you win, some you lose. I guess that’s why the game is, what it is ? Played by self absorbed individuals who for the better part hold themselves to what some might deem to be holier than thou standards. But who for all sense and purpose are no different from any other ‘athlete’ who participates in a professional sport ? Cheating is cheating, and the rules are in place to be obeyed not to be flouted knowingly. As has been the case with Phil Mickelson.

Highlights from the final round of The Farmers Open golf tournament.

And even though McCarron has since apologized to Mickelson, one can’t help but wonder what episode will next unfold in this chapter between the two golfers ? Can we say <strong"……can we say a duel ? Pistols at dawn from 30 paces " ? Stranger things are known to have happened and will happen. Somehow I think, we've not heard the last of this ‘little hissy fit’ between these two golfers. If this is meant to be the excitement that we’re meant to be looking for , while Woods is away on his self imposed sabbatical from the PGA Tour. Then, I think that I’ll now devote more time to watching reruns of ‘The Andy Grffith Show’ ! There’s for more entertainment there to be had , that’s for sure ! Did Aunt Bee ever get her ‘swerve on’ during the series ? And how comes there were never any African Americans to be seen in the town of Mayberry , North Carolina ? Was it actually the domain of the Klan ? Inquiring minds need to know ?

Click here to see the PGA Tour schedule for the 2010 season.

‘Your Cheating Heart’ as sung by Elvis Presley, originally written and recorded by Hank Williams Sr.

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Actress, singer  , burlesuque  performer  and   business  entrepreneur  , <strong> Elise   Neal </strong>,  seen  here  in  her  King  Magazine  photo  expose' .
Actress, singer , burlesuque performer and business entrepreneur , Elise Neal , seen here in her King Magazine photo expose' .

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