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Mickelson takes exception to being called 'cheater'

Phil Mickelson is upset about being "publicly slandered" with accusations of cheating. He implied that unless the PGA Tour steps in, he might consider legal action.

Mickelson did not mention Scott McCarron Saturday at Torrey Pines in San Diego where he is playing in the Farmers Insurance Open. But it was fellow pro McCarron who was quoted in The San Francisco Chronicle saying that Mickelson using the square-grooved Ping-Eye 2 wedge is akin to "cheating, and I'm appalled Phil has put it in play."

The Tour has banned square grooves beginning this season, but some are grandfathered in because of a legal settlement. Mickelson says he expects his Ping wedges to be a controversial topic of discussion, but when it leads to a player being slandered, the Tour needs to step in - "or someone else."

Asked if he was considering a lawsuit, Mickelson declined to get into specifics.

Meanwhile, in the third round of the tournament, Ryuji Imada escaped with several key pars for a 2-under-par 70 that gave him a two-shot lead over Ben Crane (69) and Michael Sim (70). Imada is at 13-under 203.

Mickelson lost a ball in a eucalyptus tree and took double bogey, then rallied for a 70. He is four shots behind.

Casey leads in Qatar

Paul Casey shot 6-under 66 to share the lead with Bradley Dredge after the third round of the Qatar Masters in Doha. Casey made seven birdies to sit tied with Dredge (70) with a 10-under total of 206.

Gates opens it up

American Robert Gates shot 4-under 68 for a three-round 200 total and a three-stroke lead in the Nationwide Tour's season-opening New Zealand Open in Queenstown.

- AP

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