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Just the one driver for Phil Mickelson

One of the best birdies Phil Mickelson made at the Memorial two weeks ago was a chip-in for birdie from behind the 10th green, a mini-flop shot in which the ball went forward 3 feet and rolled some 25 feet into the cup.

Turns out the U.S. Open was on his mind.

He was using a 64-degree lob wedge at Muirfied Village, and it will be in his bag at Winged Foot for the U.S. Open.

Mickelson said it will help him get out of the thick rough around the greens with less bounce, and hit higher, softer bunker shots.

"Because the bunkers are so deep there, and there's so much undulation on the green, I want it coming in as soft as possible," he said.

That will give Mickelson four wedges in his bag, but only one driver.

Lefty would have loved to play in the era of Lawson Little, who won the 1940 U.S. Open and was known for carrying as many as 30 clubs in his bag before the USGA came up with a 14-club limit.

He used two drivers at the Masters -- one favored a fade, the other a draw -- and carries a regular driver, and now a fourth driver with the 43-inch shaft (the others have 45-inch shafts).

"I only expect to use one this week," he said. "There's not a great mix of distance off each tee. You can hit driver on basically every hole. And the holes you can't, I feel very comfortable with the fairway wood."

He said he would use the "fade" driver that he had at Augusta National.

As for the wedges? He said he will carry a pitching wedge, gap wedge, lob wedge and the 64-degree wedge, leaving the sand wedge out of his bag. Mickelson only uses that in the fairway, and says he can get by without it.

"There aren't any sand wedges here; a lot more mid-irons," he said.

June 14, 2006

 




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