Tour defends Mickelson, use of Ping wedges

SAN DIEGO -- In light of criticism directed at world No. 2 Phil Mickelson and others using pre-1990 Ping Eye2 wedges at the Farmers Insurance Open this week, circumventing the new rule against square grooves, the PGA Tour on Saturday morning issued a statement defending Mickelson, as well as John Daly, Hunter Mahan, Brad Adamonis, Dean Wilson and any other Ping users.
The statement begins:
"Under the Rules of Golf and the 2010 Condition of Competition for Groove Specifications promulgated by the USGA, 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."
The second part of the statement is directed at the handful of players who have complained about the use of the old Ping wedges this week, specifically Scott McCarron, who was quoted in Friday's San Francisco Chronicle saying he considered the use of such wedges "cheating.""Because the use of pre-1990 Ping Eye 2 irons is permitted for play," the statement says, "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, February 2 during a regularly scheduled player meeting and with the media during the 2010 Northern Trust Open."

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