NAPA, Calif. — Phil Mickelson is contending this week at the season-opening Fortinet Championship and doing so with a new putter and putting grip.
Mickelson has been using a longer arm-lock model this week at Silverado Resort & Spa’s North Course and has found it mostly to his liking. He ranks fifth through three rounds in Strokes Gained: Putting.
“I just felt like I had been putting really well all week and I just needed to settle down and let one go in, not force it,” said Mickelson, who is tied for ninth at 10 under through 54 holes. He’ll start Sunday’s round four shots back of the lead. “I needed to get a couple of fairways hit because so much easier from the fairways getting to these pins. I just rolled a couple in, so it was nice.”
Right after his third round Saturday, as soon as he left the scoring area, Mickelson was on the practice putting green.
Phil Mickelson putts on the eighth hole during round one of the Fortinet Championship at Silverado Resort and Spa on September 16, 2021 in Napa, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images
“I felt like I blocked a couple putts,” he said. “I blocked two short ones, the one on 12, the one on 7, and I just wanted to work on that. So I feel like I was a little long in the stroke and kind of came up and out of it. If I keep it short and up, I can release into the finish and get the ball rolling online.”
Does he feel like he’s going to stick with this for a while?
“It’s how I putted as a kid,” he said. “I always had a lot of forward press and all it’s doing now is getting in the same position as a kid, but it’s getting to that same position every time,” explained Mickelson. “I’m not over-pressing, I’m not under-pressing, so my launch characteristics when I get on the Quintic system is very consistent and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Mickelson used this method earlier this year, starting in Memphis at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
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