Blog Entry

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

Posted on: February 1, 2010 3:02 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2010 3:10 pm

LOS ANGELES – Let’s thumb through the presumed pages of the Scott McCarron dictionary, shall we?

If you are driving a car, you are a driver.

If you are writing, you are a writer.

If you are cheating at golf, however, you are not a cheater.

Are there some antics within this guy’s semantics, or what?

Refusing to back down from a controversy that now threatens to run into a second week on the PGA Tour, the veteran McCarron didn’t come close to apologizing to world No. 2 Phil Mickelson on Monday, three days after he first said Lefty was “cheating” when he used a controversial Ping wedge in San Diego.

In a statement released through his agent, McCarron said: "After two days of careful contemplation I have decided to release this statement in hopes of setting the record straight. On Jan. 28, I was interviewed by Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle. Ron asked me what I thought about, ‘Phil and a couple other guys playing the old Ping Eye 2’s,’ and I responded, ‘It’s cheating and I am appalled Phil has put it in play.’

“Despite contrary reports by the media, both in print and on TV, I never called Phil Mickelson a cheater.”

Guess we should add this one to the dictionary, too, because it surely covers McCarron’s twisted verbal gymnastics at the moment: If you are thinking, you are not a thinker.

I know there’s a language barrier in Southern California at times, but this is a joke, and it’s only going to keep the issue on the front burner well into this week’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club, where tour commissioner Tim Finchem is supposed to address the grooves issue on Tuesday.

Word wafted through Torrey Pines during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday that McCarron had prepared a statement, though most expected that it would be an apology of sorts. Far from it.

Even after Mickelson said to at least three broadcast entities, including CBS Sports, that he had been “publicly slandered” by McCarron, the latter is still playing word games. Mickelson hinted at possible legal action, since, by the letter of the rulebook, he was perfectly entitled to use the Ping wedge.

Sunday, after completing the final round at Torrey Pines, Mickelson was asked privately by whether an apology from McCarron would suffice, and whether he would be appeased, given the intimation of legal wrangling a day earlier.

“I don’t really know what to say,” Mickelson said. “I’ve said enough for the last couple of days. It’s time to start moving on.

“I’m not sure. I’ll just see how everything goes.”
Mickelson insisted that the cheating allegation didn’t affect his play. He finished 19th after fading early in the final round.
“No, I’m excited to be back,” he said. “I’ve missed playing.”

Mickelson’s management group had no comment on the latest development in the matter. Mickelson isn’t expected to appear at Riviera until he plays in Wednesday’s pro-am round.

McCarron promised to press the grooves issue through proper channels.

"That being said, I want my fans, sponsors and most importantly, my fellow players, to know that I will not be silenced and I will continue my efforts to get the groove issue resolved," he said in the statement.

Here is the complete transcription of what McCarron said to reporters on Friday:


Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 5:17 pm

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

McCarron's verbal gymnastics remind me of what Frank Gifford said about Howard Cosell's ability as a lawyer.   According to Frank, "I had Howard represent me in court on a parking ticket.  He got me off on a manslaughter charge."   McCarron needs to stop talking and start playing.      

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2010 4:37 pm

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

Guys, this is not rocket science!  The answer is not even tough.  Everyone recognizes that the "intent" of the rule is to eliminate square grooves because of the ability to spin and control.  Everyone knows that this Ping club is only allowed because a legal technicality, and not because the grooves are conforming. 

Further, every pro golfer has easy access to get his hands on this model as there were many thousand (hundreds of thousands?) manufactured.  Yet even with this easy access only a few have done so including that paragon of propriety, Big John Daly and Phil among them.  Why, you ask would they not want to have a "legal" wedge in their bag that they can control the ball better than the V groove models?  The answer is simple, it's called the "integrity of golf."  This is the only sport where the players call penalties on themself and true golfers are proud to be part of that honesty.  So yes, in my opinion, you are not honoring the game by playing that club even if it is officially legal.  You are cheating the "integrity" of  the game. 

If a business associate cheats when we play golf, I get a strong idea of his business ethics.  It not complicated. There is a right and a wrong, and all of the pros know the intent of the rule, and that's what they choose to live by.  They are doing the right thing, Phil isn't.  The sad part is that he doesn't need to do this.  He has the skills. 

This reminds of the famous 5th down college football game between Colorado and Mizzo in 1990.  Here the link if you want details.   The game ended with Colorado scoring the winning TD on the final play but the refs blew the down count and that was actually a 5th down play!  Even though this was an obvious error and discovered soon after, the Colorado coach refused to forfeit the game.  So the rules don't count if you can get around them or if someone else makes a mistake.  We sent the wrong message that day as user of the Ping are today.  Frankly, I think we have the right to expect more from PGA golfers.    &nb

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 2:10 pm

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

"An poll of PGA Tour Players showed that Phil Mickleson is the least like player on tour.  Good for McCarron to call him out publicly! "

i think Tiger has taken the cake there chief.

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 2:08 pm

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

Wait, so you are comparing one club that Phil used in his bag to an athelete on PEDs?  Wow, hopefully this is hyperbole.

There is no question that this is a loop hole issue, but Mickelson is still using a club that is 10 years old, and is basically a relic compared to the speed of the game's technology.  McCarron's beef should be with the PGA, not Phil.  The fact that he singled out only one of the handful of guys using the club (the world's #2 player), shows that he was attention seeking and grandstanding. 

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2010 12:10 pm

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

I would almost guarantee that if Tiger Woods was using these Ping wedges (and playing of course) and Phil was not, the posters on this site that currently support Phil would almost all slay Tiger for doing the same thing....  Too me - nobody should be using these wedges - but the fact that the rule has a loophole is the issue...  I mean honestly do you really think that Phil and the rest of these guys do not know that the use of these clubs is stretching the rules - they do!!!!!   No....No... most professional golfers these days have always went backwards with technology... Give me a break...  Anyways hopefully the PGA fixes it...  That way Scott McCarron does not have to get taken to the cleaners for saying exactly what 70% of all the tour players are thinking (he just said it to the media)...

Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2010 10:52 am

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

Why does Phil need to learn to play with new equipment? The wedge he's using is not banned. So, what's the beef? And if he does win, why would there be an asterisk? I think everyone should be applauding Mickelson. Because, in an era in sports where everyone is cheating and breaking rules with PED's and steroids, Phil worked within the rules to find a "LEGAL" competitive edge. And, in a sport like golf, when you look past Woods, the competitive margin between the top and the bottom is slim. So, if you can find an advantage, capitalize on it. Plus, a wedge doesn't give you any advantage when you need to sink a put to win a tournament, Mickelson's achille's heel. Keep an eye on if he's trying to sneak in banned putters.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2010 10:34 am

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

An poll of PGA Tour Players showed that Phil Mickleson is the least like player on tour.  Good for McCarron to call him out publicly!

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2010 9:57 am

Steve Never Gets It

Elling just doesn't get it. And he writes like some little guy that never played sports of any kind, and hid in the corners during K-12 dodgeball. It obvious to everyone but Steve what McCarron was saying. Yes, he bungled the syntax, but we know what he meant. He is trying to say that he believes that the clubs in question should be illegal, and in his viewpoint, using them is cheating. His definition of "cheating" is wholly within the context of the equipment. His statement about being apalled that Mickelson was using the club, was spoken within the context that Mickelson is the best player out there, and the fact that someone with his ability would exploit an equipment advantage was "apalling". MCarron did not intend to go after Mickelson character, and accordingly did not directly call him a cheater. Calling somebody a cheater, indicative of how one views another's character. For example, a true "cheater" would cheat at anything, has no integrity, and cannot be trusted. Keeping it within the context of the equipment does not constitute an attack on personal character. To make the comment that using a particular type of club is akin to cheating isn't the same thing. It's a poor choice of words, but it wasn't intended to be what Elling is trying to paint here. Steve is merely trying to stir the pot, and trying to exacerbate the situation. Very childish. Elling misses Tiger.

Since: Feb 2, 2010
Posted on: February 2, 2010 9:52 am

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

yes, phil took tiger out in the most recent tournaments and he played great. however I don't think we want to get into any discussions here about who owns whom. we can go to the record books to see that its really no comparison between the two golfers performance on the course. Phil might eventually make it to the number one ranking in the world, to bad it will be after Tiger has retired or quits playing long enough for Phil to overtake him!

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: February 2, 2010 9:40 am

An apology? McCarron conjugates allegation again

The Ping clubs are allowed. Don't really see why people are jumping on Phil. Plus he was not the only player to use them.

Until the time the USGA removes the grandfathered in Ping wedges they CAN be played by anyone LEGALLY.

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