News & ToursJanuary 24, 2010

Mickelson experiments with wedges before debut

SAN DIEGO -- In his final tune-up before opening his 2010 season at the Farmers Insurance Open, Phil Mickelson toured Torrey Pines South Sunday with short-game instructor Dave Stockton by his side, and not one, but two Ping Eye 2 wedges tucked inside the Callaway bag over his shoulder.

Excited about a season in which he'll turn 40 in June and looking to build on the momentum he generated at the end of 2009, Mickelson has hardly been idle the first three weeks of the PGA Tour season, working with swing coach Butch Harmon last week, Dave Pelz in Austin on Thursday, and putting guru Dave Stockton over the weekend, not to mention spending time at the Callaway Test Center in nearby Carlsbad. While there, Mickelson prepped a set of irons he says are actually a step forward from conservative V-grooves he used last year. That, along with the use of a new Callaway ball, had Mickelson backing up 9-iron approach shots out of the Torrey Pines rough on Sunday.

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"Spin won't be a problem," Mickelson said. "I'll actually have more spin than last year."

Still left to be determined is whether Mickelson will put the two Ping Eye 2 wedges in play in his first tournament round Thursday. After reading about John Daly and Dean Wilson using ths same wedges at last week's Sony Open, Mickelson dug a few out of his garage and brought them to Callaway, where they were bent from 60 to 64 degrees, and adjusted the soles. But the player is still evaluating player sentiment about the Ping loophole, wondering whether it falls into the spirit of the new groove rule.

-- *Tim Rosaforte

(Photo by Getty Images)

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