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Mickelson experiments with claw putting grip

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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Phil Mickelson posted a 4-under 67 in the third round of The Barclays on Saturday, his lowest total on the PGA Tour since May.

An impressive score, made even more impressive by the fact that this was the first time Mickelson exclusively used the claw putting grip throughout an entire competitive round, his longtime caddie Jim Mackay told Golf Channel afterward.

It worked pretty well, too.

Mickelson posted five birdies, needed 28 putts for the round and had a putting average of 1.692 per green for the day.

“It was good to get a good round in,” he said. “I putted well on the greens.”

So well that he will continue employing the claw grip in Sunday’s final round, as well.

Mickelson is no stranger to tinkering. In the past, he has carried two drivers, no drivers, five wedges and even used a long putter last year.

With scores of 68-74-67 leaving him at 4 under entering the last round, Mickelson may be in contention for his second title of the season.

“We'll see how the leaders do and whether I'm in striking distance or not,” he explained. “It was a great day to get some momentum.”