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Mickelson scraps claw putting grip in first round

Phil Mickelson in the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship first round
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HUMBLE, Texas – For a player who has used two drivers, no drivers, five wedges and just about every other imaginable combination of tweaks to his equipment, it should come as little surprise that Phil Mickelson is tinkering again at this week’s Shell Houston Open.

For the second straight tournament, Mickelson is employing an oversized grip on his putter, though this time without his usual claw grip.

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“What the claw does for me is it gets rid of two of my bad habits,” he explained. “One of my bad habits is I get too big of a forward press and the other one is my hands drop down too low. The claw gets me out of that. It feels awkward to forward press and awkward to drop my hands too low. The way I have the putter set up is much more upright and much less loft, which doesn’t allow me to have a forward press and doesn’t allow me to drop my hands. So with this setup in the putter, I should be able to go to either grip. I thought that I would go back to a regular grip to have a softer touch on some fast greens.

“But I’m not opposed to going back to either grip.”

Mickelson needed 28 putts during his opening-round even-par 72.