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The Inside Track

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June 17, 2003|Steve Rom

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, heard, observed, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

What: "SCRATCH: An Eddie Caminetti Novel"

Author: Troon McAllister

Publisher: Rugged Land, LLC

Price: $23.95

Golfer Eddie Caminetti is as shrewd, cunning and, at times, deceptive as they come. All of which contributes to his popularity in golf fiction.

Author Troon McAllister -- he's really thriller writer Lee Gruenfeld using a pen name -- has brought Caminetti back for a third installment in a series that began with "The Green," a bestseller that the PGA Tour hailed as "the most entertaining piece of golf fiction to come along in a long time."

"SCRATCH: An Eddie Caminetti Novel" is remarkably easy to read, considering it runs 464 pages. That's a credit to McAllister's style and the entertaining nature of Caminetti, who in "The Green" managed to con the entire world during the Ryder Cup, making him an international icon.

"SCRATCH," which follows "The Foursome," opens in Las Vegas with Caminetti conning a supposed poker shark out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Next, in an effort to help out a struggling protege, Caminetti develops the world's greatest golf ball, which he dubs "Scratch" and adorns with a devilish woman as its logo.

When Caminetti's young friend vaults to the top of the tour's money list, the world starts clamoring for Scratch golf balls, much to the dismay of other manufacturers.

What follows is a race to discover the true story behind Scratch golf balls, a story that, of course, Caminetti has cunningly concocted.

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