Phil enlists Stockton's help before Round 2

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson had not worked with putting guru Dave Stockton Sr., since last year’s U.S. Open, which some considered odd considering Lefty’s prolonged putting slump.

At noon on Friday at Augusta National, the two reconnected as Mickelson prepared for the second round at the Masters.

Stockton, who began working with Mickelson in late 2009, said he watched Mickelson warm up for Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest and sent him a text afterwards.

“I wished him a happy Masters,” Stockton said.


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The two exchanged a few more text messages after Mickelson’s opening 70, with Stockton explaining what he thinks is the root of Lefty’s putting problems.

“He has a different stroke with short putts then he does long ones,” Stockton said. “Inside 8-10 feet it is a different matter, with his hand stopping after impact.”

The exchange led to the two reconnecting on Friday before Mickelson’s 1:48 p.m. (ET) tee time.

“You’re supposed to follow through,” Stockton said. “Yesterday I thought he looked really good.”

Mickelson averaged 1.72 putts on Thursday and has dipped to 75th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained-putting.