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Stockton to Mickelson: Feel trumps grip

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PINEHURST, N.C. – With a 7:10 a.m. session scheduled Dave Stockton Sr. was searching for a way to explain to Phil Mickelson what he wanted him to do this week on Pinehurst’s greens.

The answer arrived in HiDef clarity.

Stockton came across a rerun of Lefty’s 2013 Open Championship victory and noticed his putt for birdie on the 72nd hole. “It just rolled into the hole,” he said.

The next morning he started his session with Mickelson with a simple question.

“You have to have feel. What gives you the best feel, the claw or regular [grip]?” Stockton asked. “I don’t care. He’s putted with both. With his touch he can make it with anything.”

Mickelson had been trying to hit putts firmer than Stockton wanted him to and Lefty had also switched to a modified claw grip in an effort gain more feel. For Stockton, however, the answer was simple.

“I told him, ‘You’re playing the British Open this week. I don’t think you can hammer anything,’” Stockton said. “You’ve got to have the touch.”