Phil Mickelson is changing his putting grip for the 2014 US Open

Phil Mickelson is pulling a Phil Mickelson before the US Open. (Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson is pulling a Phil Mickelson before the US Open. (Getty Images)

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Jolly ol' Phil Mickelson, the face of American golf with Tiger Woods on the shelf indefinitely, was all smiles on Tuesday at Pinehurst as he chatted about what he's doing different with his putting grip for the 2014 US Open.

Mickelson went back to the claw grip, a method he's employed before, for the final round of the St. Jude Classic last week.

He explained why he's sticking with it at Pinehurst.

"The greens here are quick and so I'm actually going to go back to the claw grip this week in an effort to have a little bit lighter grip pressure and create a softer roll so that I get some of the hit out of it," said Mickelson.

"I was running them way by last week and by taking my bottom hand off the putter, it eliminates some that hit. Allowing me to kind of roll the ball softly into the hole."

You get a better sense of what he's talking about in this video.

Then Mickelson went all kinds of Mickelson on us.

"I should have won that last week by eight shots if I putted worth -- decent," he giggled. "I saw Stockton this morning and really the reason why I went to the claw is that I just have been a little bit too poppy, if you will, I've been popping at it. And not making a long kind of smooth, brush stroke. When I take the bottom hand off it allows me to do that."

Is this a good idea? I have no idea. But Mickelson said he's okay no matter the outcome.

"This is giving me a chance to put the best roll on the golf ball. If that's what -- if that's what it takes, I'm willing to take any risk and be accountable either way."

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CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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