Lawsuit from PGA’s damaged greens dismissed

Rules officials congregate at Atlanta Athletic Club's 14th hole during the PGA Championship.

Rules officials congregate at Atlanta Athletic Club's 14th hole during the PGA Championship.

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As dawn spread over Atlanta Athletic Club for the first round of the PGA Championship last summer, superintendent Ken Mangum realized his worst nightmare: he had two damaged greens.

After the ensuing scramble to resod and repair the 14th and 17th greens, which were gouged during the morning mowing, the season’s final major championship evolved into a blame game.

In a news release, Mangum said the damage was “the result of a significant rise in the dew point at approximately 7 p.m., which caused the brushes on the mowers on those greens to stick to the grass and damage the turf.”

The manufacturer of those brushes, Rod Lingle of GreensPerfection, took exception and filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Athletic Club, Mangum and the PGA of America.

That suit was dismissed Feb. 1 in DeSoto County (Miss.) Circuit Court.

“We felt a responsibility to our current customer’s concerns, as well as potential customers, to make sure they knew our product was safe and effective,” Lingle said in a statement. “GreensPerfection brushes are incapable of damaging any greens in the way represented by the defendants.”

When reached by phone, Mangum would not comment about specifics of the lawsuit. "I'm glad it's over," he said, "and we're ready to move on."

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