Mar
10
2010
Finchem and Solheim Relieved to Put Behind Grooves Mess
By Stephanie Wei under General

On Monday the big grooves controversy was finally settled after it was announced that PING agreed to waive its right to a 20-year lawsuit. So the following day, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and PING CEO John Solheim held a teleconference to make obligatory comments and answer questions from the media. I listened to it, but it was pretty uneventful — you know, filled with the usual thank-yous.

The Commish clarified this bit:

This was 100 percent a voluntary action by John Solheim and Ping to waive their rights, those rights emanating from antitrust litigation years ago, that prevented the PGA TOUR from — that could have prevented the PGA TOUR from prohibiting the use of pre-April 1990 Ping Eye 2 irons, which was the nub of the problem. There was no agreement to do this; John stepped forward to do it…There was no money here that exchanged hands. There was no settlement. John Solheim and Ping did this for the good of the game, and Ping received no financial or other direct benefit in exchange for taking this action.

Well, indirectly, he looks like a hero. But mostly, Mr. Solheim just sounds glad the matter is closed:

The family is very happy to do this, and I mean, it is purely a waiver on our part. We can go forward and not think about it, which is very important to the family, because I saw what my father went through years ago, and I didn’t want that to happen again. To achieve what we achieved yesterday is really neat.

In other words, he doesn’t want to deal with a big, messy lawsuit, like his dad did, so let the lawyers draft up the paperwork and tell him where to sign.