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July 9, 2015

Phil Mickelson


Q. An opening round of 69. Give us your thoughts on that one.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was okay. I struggled on the greens today. I didn't feel good on the greens, and I didn't capitalise on a number of opportunities. But it was a good first day to get back in it after missing the last couple of weeks or skipping the last few weeks, taking them off. I was a little rusty the front nine. I hit much better shots on the back. On the greens, I didn't really capitalise. The greens are in perfect shape. They don't break too much. You can really make a lot. You can be aggressive with the speed. They are not too fast. You don't have to worry about the ball getting away from you. And I didn't putt very well.

Q. One of the highlights of the round; you say you hit the ball better on the back nine. Tell us about this one.
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a little cut 8-iron. It was a little left-to-right wind and just kind of held an 8-iron into the wind to about four feet and was able to knock that one in to get it back to even par for the day.

Q. This is your 10th Scottish Open and you've played on four different courses. How do you like this one?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, Gullane is a wonderful track. It really is a beautiful golf course. I love that we play on links golf courses. It's challenging now that we have played three different courses the last three years because it's hard to get to know the nuances of links golf. This was only my second round on the course today, so the subtleties of knowing how the ball is going to react on the ground is still a chance.

Q. Your chip on 14, you have an amazing array of shots around the green; how do you decide which one to use?
PHIL MICKELSON: I try to pick the shot that I think is going to be the easiest to get close, and there was a little bit of a down ridge, a little bit of a ridge going away, going towards the hole. I felt that if I just hit a chip shot, I had a huge margin of error in that it was going to catch that downslope and funnel down to the hole. I didn't really want to putt it because I felt like it could have a little too much overspin. I thought the little bit of a check that a wedge provided would make the shot easier to get it close.

Q. How much are you looking forward to getting out tomorrow morning on the fresh greens and a chance to go low?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I feel a little bit more comfortable with my game having played a better round. I'll have to come out tomorrow and put a good number up with there but my game doesn't feel far off. I hit a lot of good shots today. I hit some poor ones but hit a lot more good shots than I have in a while, just didn't capitalise on the putts.

Q. It's a tough course out there but four birdies, how would you sum up your round today?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a good round for me to get back into competition. I haven't played the last couple of weeks. I was a little rusty the front nine and hit some shots not as well as I would have hoped. But the back nine I hit a lot golf shots. I felt like I started to play much better. Unfortunately I do not feel good on the greens. I let a number of shots slide on the greens and I didn't capitalise on the opportunities. Greens are in such great shape. They are not very fast. They don't break too much. You can really be aggressive and if you putt well, you can make it from long distances. I just didn't have my best day on the greens but it doesn't feel far off. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get hot with the putter.

Q. You won at The Scottish Open before, so what would you say the key to success is on a links course like this?
PHIL MICKELSON: You have to be patient. You can't try to force it because you try to overpower the golf course, it will come up and bite you and you'll make some big numbers. It's not the start I would have wanted but it's not terrible. I'm in a position where a good round tomorrow will get me right back in there.

Q. Do you feel like this is good prep for The Open next week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I do. Playing on these grasses, playing links golf, playing the shots we're going to play next week can only help you.
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