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May 27, 2008

Mickelson's winning clubs and modified blade putter

Posted at 12:18 PM by David Dusek | Categories: Callaway, Odyssey, Phil Mickelson, Putters, Wedges, Winner's Bag

Philcolonialbag Few players on the PGA Tour have been as willing to tinker with their set makeup as Phil Mickelson. The two-time Masters champ has played with two drivers in his bag at Augusta National and added a 64° wedge while playing in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

So it was interesting to see how Mickelson modified his arsenal last week en route to winning the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. In what was clearly an attempt to overpower the venerable 7,054-yard course, Mickelson elected to add a fifth wedge and take out a 6-iron during the first two rounds and his 3-wood on the weekend.

By hitting his driver off the tee on many of Colonial's short and mid-length par 4s, Mickelson took many hazards out of play. Even if he landed in the rough, having five wedges at his disposal meant he could attack tucked pin positions.

The tactic certainly was effective, because while Phil ranked 33rd in driving accuracy, hitting just 57% of the fairways, he was fifth in driving distance (317 yards) and tied for fifth in greens in regulation (72%).

But in the end, Mickelson's putting was the key to his win. And he credited two things for his improved performance.

Philputterline_6001. In a Golf Channel interview Friday, Mickelson said, "The biggest thing was going to the Callaway Test Center and getting on the putting monitor and making sure the stroke was what I wanted and the face angle was what I wanted Because once I was reaffirmed that things were the way they should be mechanically, then all I had to do was start worrying about the speed." 

2. In the same interview, he also said, "They have never been able to put a line on a blade putter. But with the way they can grind it now, they were able to put a line in it. I can align it so much better." Click on the photo for a better look.

Mickelson ranked 11th in putts per round last week, averaging a scant 27.8, and ranked third in putts per green in regulation with 1.673.

Phil Mickelson's Weekend Clubs
Driver: Callaway FT-5, 8.5° (I-MIX)
Irons: Callaway X-Forged (3-4) and  Callaway prototype (5-PW)
Wedges: Callaway X Forged Chrome Mac Daddy (52°, 56°, 60°, 64°)
Putter: Odyssey Phil Mickelson blade prototype
Ball: Callaway Tour ix

(Photos by Mark Feldman/Getty Images)

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