It’s no secret that Phil Mickelson has been less than clinical on the greens in recent months. Now, in an attempt to rediscover his touch on the putting surface, Mickelson has opted for a claw grip.
Last week American golf commentator Johnny Miller said the lefty had no chance of wining at Pinehurst putting like he has – and with good reason.
Mickelson ranks 103rd in the rankings for strokes gained while putting – hardly major winning stats – but Phil is determined to whatever it takes to win at Pinehurst and complete a career grand slam.
“You can't win any golf tournament putting the way I've been putting. I should have won last week by eight shots if I putted decent,” said the American.
“I saw Dave Stockton this morning and the reason I went to the claw is that I just have been a little bit too poppy, if you will.
"I want to have more of a longer, smoother stroke on these greens." - Phil mickelson
“I've not been making a long, kind of smooth brush stroke. When I take the bottom hand off it allows me to do that.”
Mickelson feels that the claw grip can be particularly effective at Pinehurst given the speed of the greens.
“I want to have more of a longer, smoother stroke on these greens,” he said.
“What it really helps is the short putts, three to six, seven feet. I'm much more solid with taking the bottom hand off and just kind of lightly pushing the putter through.”
Phil Mickelson :: the game plan
It seems Phil Mickelson is willing to do everything in his power to get his hands on the US Open trophy, even if that means changing his grip mid-round.
“If something changes this week and I feel better with the regular grip I may do it,” Mickelson said.
“It may be a spur of the moment thing. I don't know. But right now the game plan is X, but it can certainly become Y in a matter of minutes.”
Phil Mickelson’s US Open heartache
1999 Pinehurst – This week Phil Mickelson returns to the scene of his first US Open loss where Payne Stewart famously holed a 15-foot putt at the final hole to win. This triggered a run of close calls in the tournament
2002 Bethpage Black – He finished runner-up to Tiger Woods, going down by three shots
2004 Shinnecock Hills – After leading Retief Goosen by a shot on 17 Mickelson three stabbed from five-feet, throwing away the championship
2006 Winged Foot – Mickelson needed a par to win going down the last.However, his drive hit a hospitality tent, he hit a branch with a risky 3-iron, plugged his third in a bunker and made double bogey
2009 Bethpage Black - A spectacular charge in 2009 moved Phil Mickelson into a tie for the lead only to miss short par-saves at the 15th and 17th, losing out to Lucas Glover
2103 Merion – Phil Mickelson had the lead after holing a 75-yard wedge shot on the tenth, but two bogeys with wedges in his hand left him one shot behind Rose on 18 which he eventually bogeyed.