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August 13, 2005

Phil Mickelson


JULIUS MASON: Phil Mickelson, ladies and gentlemen, atop the 87th PGA Championship leaderboard at 6 under with Davis Love III. If you wouldn't mind going through your card, bogeys, birdie, and we'll go to Q & A.

PHIL MICKELSON: Okay. I had three bogeys early on. I bogeyed the 2nd hole, hit a 4 wood into the bunker and had a terrible lie and was fortunate to get a sand wedge over the lip and just over the green. Hit a tough chip to 40 feet and two putted for bogey.

On 5, I hit a good 3 wood off the tee and an 8 iron to 35 feet and putted that and it ran eight feet by.

Bogeyed 6, drove it in the left rough, hit a good 7 iron in the front left bunker but it was up against the lip and hit a shot out 30 feet and ended up missing it, made bogey.

And then on 12, I made the only birdie of the day. I hit a 6 iron to 18 feet behind the hole and made that.

Q. Do you look at today's round as you gutted it out and still have a share of the lead, or, man, if I had only shot like I did yesterday I may have been up seven strokes?

PHIL MICKELSON: I thought after the start that I had, I had a couple of tough breaks and made three bogeys. I thought for me to fight and still be in the lead is a huge boost because guys were out there making birdies, and I was going the other way.

To gut it out and play the last 12 holes without a bogey, make that one birdie and still be in the lead is I think a huge success for the day.

Q. What happened with your chip at No. 2?

PHIL MICKELSON: My chip on 2?

Q. Yes.

PHIL MICKELSON: It was just the way the lie the grass was about a foot and a half long, and it was just swirled around it and I didn't get the club underneath it enough and it took off. It was either that or I was more worried about fluffing it and worried about leaving the same shot, so at least I was able to make a bogey and not bring double into play.

Q. Do you see a little of your own career when you look at what Davis has accomplished, and how much would a second major mean, just for your own career?

PHIL MICKELSON: Do I see a what with Davis' career? Do we have parallel careers? I haven't thought of it like that. He's had a wonderful career, though. He's played some good golf for a long time, and it's going to be a fun day tomorrow. I think that there are a lot of guys that are right there within a couple of shots. They get hot, make some birdies, it'll put some pressure on us. On the other hand we're in the last group, we know what we need to do and hopefully we're in a position to do it.

Q. You're 35 years old, you've won one major. Is tomorrow the biggest day in your golf career?

PHIL MICKELSON: If it is, I don't feel that way. I think that it's going to be a fun day. I've had some good preparation heading in, and I thought that that was actually evident today of all the three days when the putts weren't quite falling and when things weren't going the best, to hang in there.

So hopefully tomorrow I'll get a little bit more momentum. But I don't look at it as the biggest day of my career. It certainly is a big event and I feel that I'm prepared to play well in the final round.

Q. How would you compare your ball striking and ability to shape shots today with the first two days and the amount of command you have had through both of those rounds?

PHIL MICKELSON: I thought it was pretty comparable to be honest. When we were out there playing, the greens firmed up, I hit a shot on the third hole that landed literally within an inch of the distance I was trying to fly it. Unlike the first and the second hole, the third green was brick hard and it bounded 25 feet past. It should have been about a six footer for birdie. I can't control some of the way the ball reacts on some of the greens, and I thought that I hit some good shots that weren't quite rewarded. But that's what we expect in a major championship and on a tough golf course like this.

So the thing I was pleased about was it didn't bother me and I was patient and ended up making that one birdie over the last 12 holes and hung in there.

Q. Davis was in here a few minutes ago talking about if you've won one major you're in the club, so to speak, and he talks about guys that win multiple majors start to break out and use that great word or whatever you call it. Do you subscribe to that theory a little bit, and talk about your desire to be a multiple major winner after you won The Masters?

PHIL MICKELSON: Mark, I'd rather answer those tomorrow if that's all right.

Q. How big of an advantage is having the fans behind you consistently all day long every day more than any other player?

PHIL MICKELSON: It's a lot of fun. I mean, the people here have been so much fun to play in front of and the way they supported this event. I've heard some really funny lines. It's been very entertaining and I've really enjoyed it. I've had a lot of fun.

Q. Can you talk about the course conditions from the first round to today, including the rough and the speed of the greens?

PHIL MICKELSON: It was I thought it was more difficult today certainly, a little bit tougher pin placements, and the greens certainly firmed up by the time we got to them. The last hour was a little dark and tough to see some of the breaks in the greens, but other than that, I thought the course was very fair. It's just a great test. We saw a lot of guys shoot under par. I would have liked to have been one of them. But given that start, I was pleased to finish where I did.

Q. Just talk about the par save you had on 9 about 10, 15 feet. How big was that to propel you to the back nine?

PHIL MICKELSON: That was a big par save for me. I had a terrible lie, it was sitting down in the rough and I needed some luck to get it to come out right, and it did, and I gave myself a 10 or 12 footer. I was 3 over, hadn't made any birdies, and making that par, I felt like I could shoot 3 under the back side. The fact that I would have made those two putts at 17 and 18. I thought that 3 under on the back was attainable but 4 under would have been stretching it. I thought that that par putt was big because I felt like at that point because I made that putt I could get a couple of birdies and shoot even for the round.

Q. Your hesitance to talk about winning a second major, does that come from what's happened in the past in terms of maybe

PHIL MICKELSON: Not at all, but that's tomorrow's round. I mean, I've got a lot to worry about for the next 18 holes, and the last thing I want to do is jump ahead.

Q. Can you talk about the importance of being in that final round and just the final pairing, and just talk about the dynamics of being in the final pairing.

PHIL MICKELSON: I think that it was a fight for me to stay in the lead given the way it started. I thought that that was a success. And being in the last group gives you the opportunity to see how the course is playing and gives you an idea of what score might do it. It also gives you a chance to see what's going on in front of you and if guys are making birdies or not, and you can play accordingly if need be.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks for coming down, Phil.

End of FastScripts.

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