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Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Phil Mickelson's controversial Ping wedge banned

Phil Mickelson
Mickelson has been highly critical of the new groove rules

Phil Mickelson will not be able to use his controversial 20-year-old wedge after 29 March after a deal between manufacturer Ping and the PGA Tour.

The American golfer has been using a Ping Eye 2 wedge, which features banned U-shaped grooves to generate more spin.

Mickelson's club fell within the rules because of a lawsuit by the manufacturer that means pre-1990 Ping wedges are permitted in tournaments.

But Ping has agreed to waive its rights to exemption from the new rule.

Mickelson's decision to use the club had drawn criticism from his fellow professionals.

McLaren - C4 WRC

England's Lee Westwood accused the world number three of "bending the rules," while American Scott McCarron said Mickelson was "cheating" before apologising for the remark.

Ping chairman and chief executive John Solheim said his company had acted "in the best interests of golf".

He added: "It levels the playing field on the PGA Tour and resolves a very unfortunate situation."

Golf's governing bodies The Royal & Ancient and the United States Golf Association introduced the new groove rules on 1 January to decrease the amount of backspin players can generate when hitting from the rough.

They limit the volume of the grooves and the sharpness of their edges.

Mickelson, who boasts one of the finest short games in the sport, has described the rule change as "ridiculous".

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see also
Mickelson rule-bending - Westwood
31 Jan 10 |  Golf
Mickelson in cagey start to 2010
29 Jan 10 |  Golf
Mickelson keen for Woods return
28 Jan 10 |  Golf
Westwood opts for change of clubs
27 Jan 10 |  Golf
Westwood wins players' Tour award
20 Jan 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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