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June 8 2011

12:53 AM

Phil’s 2-iron, Stricker’s winning tweaks

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This Callaway 2-iron Phil Mickelson used at the Memorial is heading to the U.S. Open.
At the Masters, it was a second driver. Next week at the U.S. Open, a 2-iron will be the specialized choice for Phil Mickelson. The four-time major champion and habitual equipment tinkerer frequently tailors his bag to courses, with much fanfare. At Congressional, he figures 255-yard bullets off the tee could get him closer to an elusive U.S. Open title. Enter an 18-degree Callaway 2-iron that he’s been auditioning for several weeks. “It’s just a 2-iron that Callaway has made for five or six years now,” Mickelson said at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. “It’s got a little bit of a backing to it, kind of an X-Tour 2-iron that is easy to get up in flight, so it’s going to be in the bag at Congressional and I anticipate using it quite a bit. “I’ve been experimenting the last few weeks trying to get the right 2-iron that flies about 255 or so off the tee, which is kind of what I’m gunning for. I think this one is dialed in just about right.” GOOD CALL: Steve Stricker won the Memorial with some tweaks in his Titleist bag made in recent months. He put KBS Tour C-Taper steel shafts in his AP2 irons and switched from the Titleist Pro V1 to the Pro V1x ball. “I switched equipment maybe five or six tournaments ago. I switched shafts and the ball, and that combination has been really good for me,” Stricker said. “I’m hitting it further. Just the things I am doing with the ball are better.” Incidentally, K.J. Choi also used KBS shafts in winning THE PLAYERS Championship. CRACKED UP: Ever been thrown off your game when a favorite club broke? Happens to TOUR players too. Rickie Fowler has been breaking in a new Titleist 910D3 driver this season after an old favorite, a 909D2, cracked at the end of 2010. “I had a driver crack at the end of last year which I had played for two and a half years, so I had a lot of confidence in that,” said Fowler, 42nd in FedExCup points. “Just working on getting some more confidence in the new driver, and the only way I can do that is just more playing time. “I'm not a guy that changes clubs a lot, so playing time is how I build confidence and trust with clubs. I feel like I've got a good one in the bag right now. I've been playing it since Honda (early March). It's just trying to get as much playing time with it and building up as much trust and confidence with it.” NEXT GENERATION: Ping’s newest driver, the G20, will hit the range this week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. No word yet on who will take one to competition on Thursday, but it’s probably a safe bet that the heavier-headed (than the Ping G15) club will get at least a look from defending FedEx St. Jude champion Lee Westwood, among other Ping TOUR pros. Check out the club here. MORE PING: The company debuted a new line of Anser milled putters at the Memorial, with Angel Cabrera wielding an Anser Milled Series 5 to a T22 finish. SIGNED: Hank Haney and Tiger Woods parted ways some 13 months ago. Now the teacher has let the swoosh go too, as Haney signed an agreement this week to represent TaylorMade. Look for him to sing the praises of the white drivers.
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