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Phil Mickelson has been accused by Lee Westwood of bending the rules. Mickelson has accused Mickelson of his 20 year old club not suitable for the game.
He is currently competing at the Farmer Insurance Open in San Diego and is using a Ping Eye 2 wedge. These are known for having U-Shaped grooves that can generate more spin than generic ones. The club is legal due to a loop hole which has been found. Pre 1990 Ping wedges are permitted in tournaments however Westwood said:"I don't think it's breaking the rules, it's bending them."
Compatriot Scott McCarron was not as polite as Westwood on the matter: "It's cheating, and I'm appalled Phil has put it in play.
"As one of our premier players, he [Mickelson] should be one of the guys who steps up and says this is wrong."
Mickelson came back with saying he disagreed with the new rules however after his third round at Torrey Pines he said that legal action could be a possibility. "Well, we all have our opinions on the matter, but a line was crossed, and I just was publicly slandered, and because of that I'll have to let other people handle that," Mickelson said.
Westwood, though, speaking at this week's Qatar Masters on the European Tour, stopped short of such a damning indictment. "It's a very strong word to use, cheating. "It wouldn't be my choice to use them, but it's obviously not against the rules or else he wouldn't do it. "I could do it more than anybody else because I've got thousands of Ping wedges. I have the opportunity to do it and I don't."
The Ping wedge has been given the OK from R&A and United States Golf Association. Now players are opting to use the newer V- shaped grooves. The PGA Tour, meanwhile, has reiterated the legality of the clubs and cautioned against criticism of players who use them. "Because the use of pre-1990 Ping Eye 2 irons is permitted for play, public comments or criticisms characterising their use as a violation of the Rules of Golf as promulgated by the USGA are inappropriate at best," a statement read.
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