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 CBSSports.com 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: