McCarron refuses to back down

By Doug FergusonFebruary 1, 2010, 10:25 pm
Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO – Scott McCarron is not backing away from his accusation that Phil Mickelson and other players are cheating if they use the Ping Eye 2 wedges with square grooves.

McCarron issued a statement Monday in which he wanted to clarify that while he believes “it’s cheating” for Mickelson and anyone else to use the Ping wedges, “I never called Phil Mickelson a cheater.”

“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,” McCarron said.

Mickelson said over the weekend that he was “publicly slandered,” and he hinted at legal action if the PGA Tour does not discipline McCarron for his choice of words.

Square grooves no longer are allowed on the PGA Tour because of a new U.S. Golf Association policy effective this year that requires grooves in irons to be more a more shallow V-shape, which generate less spin.

However, the Ping Eye 2 wedges made before April 1, 1990, are approved for competition because of a lawsuit that Ping settled with the PGA Tour and USGA some 20 years ago.

It has not been proven whether the grooves of a 20-year-old golf club – Mickelson played them in college at Arizona State and found this wedge in his garage – spin more than V-shaped grooves made with today’s technology.

John Daly and Dean Wilson were the first players to use the Ping wedges this year, at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Mickelson, who finished 19th at the Farmers Insurance Open, said he was not sure the Ping wedge was more effective than his new wedges from Callaway.

Mickelson, however, has been angry with the USGA since the groove policy was announced. He claims he submitted wedges under the new rules that the USGA did not approve, yet he was allowed to use a Ping wedge with square grooves that are not conforming.

“I understand black and white,” Mickelson said Friday. “And I think that myself or any other player is allowed to play those clubs because they’re approved – end of story.”

McCarron said to use the Ping wedges violated the spirit of the rule.

On Monday, he directed some of his frustration at the USGA and the PGA Tour for knowing the potential for this controversy before it blew up on them last week at Torrey Pines.

“Instead of addressing the matter, the tour chose to put the onus to comply on its players,” McCarron said. “Unfortunately, a handful of players have chosen not to comply, and that is what has led to this current ordeal. In my opinion … the Tour must now put a rule in place to protect the field and ban these wedges.”

McCarron said the focus should shift from a small number of players using the Ping Eye 2 wedges to the majority of players “who chose to do the right thing.”

“I am still appalled by the fact that any player would make the choice to put this controversial wedge in play, and I stand by my previous comments,” he said.

The only apology he offered was to the Farmers Insurance Open for the distraction it caused.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is to meet with players Tuesday in Los Angeles to discuss the wedge dispute.

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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm