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Solheim: Any publicity is good publicity

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ORLANDO, Fla. ' Ping CEO John Solheim revealed at this weeks PGA Merchandise Show that, sometimes, any publicity really is good publicity.

While introducing Meg Mallon as the new U.S. Solheim Cup captain Thursday, he acknowledged he will always be grateful to Mallon for winging one of his companys putters into a pond at the 18th hole of Disney Worlds Eagle Pines courseduring the HealthSouth Inaugural 17 years ago.

It is the most publicity we ever got for one of our putters, Solheim said.

At the end of a week that included seven three-putts, Mallon was disgusted with her Ping putter at the final hole. She announced to the crowd that it was time to get rid of it.

So I gave it a really good helicopter into the middle of the pond, Mallon said.

Golf Channel captured the heave on video, and analyst Donna Caponi broke down Mallons club-throwing form in a slow-motion replay. When Mallon walked into the clubhouse, players flashed white sheets of paper with scores like 9.9 and 10.0 on them, as if they were Olympic judges ranking a gymnastics routine.

Mallon isnt sure what kind of putter it was. Her best guess is that it was a Ping Anser 2. She actually loved the Ping putters and used them almost exclusively in her prime.

Mallon said in a visit to the White House, she asked President Clinton for a presidential pardon.

Theres nothing wrong with a little Irish temper, Clinton told Mallon.