MARANA, Ariz. — The controversy sparked by Phil Mickelson, John Daly and other golfers who recently started using Ping Eye2 wedges made before 1990 has created a problem for Hunter Mahan.
Mahan has been using a pre-1990 58° Ping Eye2 lob wedge for years. He likes the look and feel of the club, but this week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship he would be the only player in the field using an "old groove" Eye2.
That doesn't sit well with Mahan, because he knows that if he does well using the old wedge some people might question whether his success was due to his skill or the grooves.
So this week Mahan has been practicing with an Eye2 lob wedge that is identical to his old club except that it contains grooves that conform to the new USGA standards. Tuesday morning on the range he had three Eye2 wedges in his bag. The two copper-colored clubs in the photo have the old grooves. The silver-colored wedge that you can partially see has the new grooves.
"I don't want the focus to be on the grooves," he told me. "It's really kind of unfortunate, but right now the players are taking the blame for all of this."
Mahan said he has not made up his mind which club he is going to use in his match Wednesday against South Africa's Charl Schwartzel. But from his tone and body language, I sensed that he really wants to avoid any controversy. See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC. Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter(Photo by David Dusek)