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June 15 2011

6:53 PM

Phil and Dustin’s plan, and a cool app

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Phil Mickelson, pictured Tuesday at Congressional, will still rely more on his driver off the tee than a 2-iron.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM

Phil Mickelson’s easiest path around Congressional Country Club may not be paved with as many 2-irons as he thought.

Talking Tuesday at his U.S. Open press conference, Mickelson backed off on his comments from a week ago that the Callaway X-Tour 2-iron would get heavy use.

“The 2-iron, I thought when I came out here originally, I thought I was going to use quite a bit, still might if the course plays hard and fast. But what I found is it's a little bit more playable for me with a driver, because I don't have to be perfect,” Mickelson said. “If I miss the fairway with the 2-iron I'm so far back that I'm not able to get it up on or by the green. If I hit driver and I happen to miss it, I'm 50 yards closer and I have an opportunity to now advance it up or by the green and salvage pars, and I feel that will give me the best chance to make pars on a lot of the holes.”

And that’s a singular “driver”, not “drivers” as he has employed at some majors. Though with Mickelson, one never knows for sure until game day.

MORE LONG BALL: In his pre-tournament press conference, Dustin Johnson said he won’t attack all of Congressional with his TaylorMade R11 driver – but that’s not to say it won’t come in handy on several holes.

“I try to hit every drive I hit in the fairway. This course, there's quite a few holes I can hit driver on. It's a mix, you know. I hit a few 3-irons off the tees. I hit a couple of 3-woods. I hit a few drivers,” Johnson said. “I'm not hitting driver on every hole and I'm not hitting iron off every tee. I think it's a great mix for me.

“Me and Joe (LaCava, his caddie), we're working on a game plan and our game plan is to hit whatever club we have the best chance of getting in the fairway. If it's wide where we hit the driver, we'll hit the driver. If it narrows up wherever the driver is going to go, we're going to hit a 3-wood. We just kind of are taking what the golf course gives us.”

Johnson plays an R9 3-wood and R9 TP irons.

THERE’S AN APP: If you have an iPhone 4 you probably already use it for PGATOUR.COM (of course) and other golf-related apps. Now check out what Ping is bringing to the party.

Ping’s new putting app allows you to clip the device to a putter and measure data capable of doing everything from putter fitting to measuring one’s stroke up against Ping pros such as Lee Westwood, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson. The accelerometers and gyroscopes built into the device measure a putting stroke's path, your tempo and the face angle of your putter at impact.

The app is free, while the clip that attaches the iPhone to the putter is $30. All that is missing is a sports psychologist to help with the yips. Maybe that’s a different app.

20 TO 10: Ping’s new G20 driver went into Lee Westwood’s bag at the start of last week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, but didn’t make it to the weekend. He switched back to his regular G10 model, not wanting to make such a significant change on the eve of a major.

Kirk Triplett put one in play last week and is sticking with it for the U.S. Open. You can see the headcover here at Congressional behind a rather unusual headcover for a TOUR bag.

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