Tuesday, February 2

The Return of Rocco

ROCCO MEDIATE RETURNED to Torrey Pines last week for the first time since his epic duel with Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open. Rocco made the cut in the Farmers Insurance Open and finished at 1-under with rounds of 69-71-74-73.

Mediate also made noise, among the handful of Tour pros who openly criticized Phil Mickelson’s choice of wedges in light of the new groove rules. The Roc Man’s words were not as inflammatory as those of Scott McCarron, who essentially called Lefty a cheater, but they still stung.

“I don’t like it at all, not one bit,” Rocco said. “It’s against the spirit of the rule. We have to get rid of those clubs, because they’re square grooves. What else can you say?”

Phil isn’t cheating. Despite their square grooves, the ancient Ping Eye2s he slipped into his bag are legal because the company won a lawsuit against the PGA Tour 20 years ago. No rule broken. Just many restless spirits.

So, maybe Phil is trying to make a point. As World No. 2 and such a widely popular player, he has the clout and fan “capital” to pull it off. But I can’t criticize the players (except McCarron’s poor choice of words) who are hot about it. They’re entitled to question Phil on his choice to play the only club exempted from the new groove edict. He’d be naive not to expect some heat.

Coincidentally, Rocco is now working with Phil’s new putting coach, Dave Stockton.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: The Gordons/Flickr)

1 comment:

Brian said...

It should be about the spirit of the rule but, the Ping's are legal and all players have that choice to play them or not. Phil will get more head being the top player in the field, compared to John Daly who missed both cuts despite the Ping's.

I just wish he played better - it seems to be his last chance to make a real run at #1.