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Mickelson signs new deal with Callaway Golf

It didn't take Masters champion Phil Mickelson long to find a new equipment deal, signing an endorsement contract with Callaway Golf on Tuesday just one week after he left Titleist.

Coming off a phenomenal season in the majors, Mickelson will start using a prototype of the Callaway HX Tour golf ball, a prototype Fusion Driver and the Big Bertha fairway metals at the Canadian Open.

He is expected to work with Callaway club designer Roger Cleveland to build his own irons, wedges and putters.

Mickelson was let out of his five-year Titleist contract some 16 months early after trying to renegotiate. He was said to be leaning toward Callaway, and the deal came together quickly.

His Callaway contract is believed to be for at least five years. Financial terms were not immediately available. Mickelson will wear the Callaway logo on his shirt sleeve, the side of his visor and his golf bag.

The deal means that for the second straight Ryder Cup, a top American player will be switching equipment the week before the matches. Woods changed from Titleist to Nike irons the week before the '02 Ryder Cup, and he won the American Express Championship that week in Ireland.

Mickelson, who has always played the Titleist ball, will be using a prototype that has a softer cover for better control from within 150 yards, which Lefty has always said was key to his success.

``The two areas I have stressed this year have been driving the ball in play and having optimum distance control from 150 yards in,'' Mickelson said in a release. ``To further my progress in those areas, and to help me achieve my ultimate goal of becoming No. 1 in the world, I felt it was necessary to switch to the exciting new driver and golf ball technology from Callaway Golf.''

Mickelson took some heat from Titleist last year over a phone call to a Callaway representative who had helped his brother with some equipment. Mickelson praised Callaway for its golf ball and driver, and Callaway officials were said to have played the voice mail for its salesmen at a national meeting.

Now, the message will come straight from Lefty.

Meanwhile, Acushnet said it has expanded its multiyear agreement with Adam Scott of Australia.

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