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June 8, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Memphis, Tennessee

Q. We know you're on borrowed time, so coming off a couple of top-3 finishes in two of your last three starts here; I imagine you're coming in with some pretty good feelings.
PHIL MICKELSON: I really like this tournament and this course. I think it's the most underrated golf course we play on TOUR. I think the beauty of this course is in its simplicity and how it really challenges you with precision, not necessarily overwhelming length. But the greens are small. You have to shape shots, and you have to hit it in the proper position or you get blocked out by trees. I think that this TPC Southwind is one of our best courses we have, one of my favorites, and I look forward to coming back here every year.

Q. Can you talk about your start to the year overall and having a new swing coach and all that's gone into that?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's been not as consistent as I would like, but I've had a lot of positive signs, a lot of top finishes, and I've had some opportunities to win and to get it done, but I haven't quite put it together or put the consistency there.

But I feel as though the game is starting to feel easy again, that I'm starting to hit shots again, and I've had a very good year putting. I think that it's a matter of time and it's a matter of being patient. I haven't won in quite some time, and it's very easy to get impatient and try to force the issue, and so I'm trying to not worry so much about the result and just kind of play because I feel like my game is better than it has been in years, and I'm playing well enough to win, I just haven't quite been patient enough on the golf course to do it.

Q. What are your impressions about Oakmont?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've played Oakmont the last two days, and I really think it is the hardest golf course we've ever played. They don't know what the weather is going to be next week, if it's going to be dry or if it's going to be wet. So what they do is they let the rough grow long, and if it is wet they'll leave it like that, and if it's dry they'll thin it out. So yesterday the rough was extremely long, I guess, and challenging. But it's a very fair test, even though it's hard. But a lot of golf courses when it challenges you tee to green the way Oakmont does, it usually has a little bit of a reprieve on the greens, and you really don't at Oakmont. They're some of the most undulating, fast, difficult greens to putt. It really is the hardest golf course I think we've played.

Q. Everyone knows we're out here for a good cause. Why is this a cause that keeps bringing you back here year after year, St. Jude?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I love the tournament. I love the golf course. I think it's a great venue, and I also think the community support is terrific. The reason I'm here selfishly, it really gets me ready for -- to get my game sharp, to play competitive for the U.S. Open, which is a tournament I would love to win to cap off my career, and I feel like playing here and playing well gives me the best chance to do that.

Q. Does Oakmont suit your game? Is it a place you could break through?
PHIL MICKELSON: The reason why I'm optimistic about Oakmont is that it doesn't require me to hit a lot of drivers. It requires me to get the ball in play off the tee, but when I'm not hitting drivers, if I'm hitting 3-woods, hybrids, I feel confident I'm able to do that a fairly high percentage of the time. One of the strengths of my game over the last decade or so that's really helped me win the tournaments I've won is lag putting, so if I have a good week lag putting where I'm able to have easy pars from anywhere on the green, that's going to lead to a good week. That's why I'm optimistic. However, it's a U.S. Open and you get on a bad streak and you start missing fairways there, which isn't exactly uncommon in my game, it is difficult.

Q. When you have a day like today in the pro-am where the score isn't great, is it just something that you put behind you, or today were you working on some things where the score really didn't matter for you today?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was wanting to play early this morning because I knew that after playing last week, playing the pro-am last week, the tournament last week and then going to Oakmont Monday and Tuesday when I normally take those days off, I was going to be tired, so I'm going to go straight back to the room and rest up. I don't feel as though there's anything about my game that I'm worried about, but I want to make sure that I'm physically and mentally rested and ready to go, because for me to play well next week, I think it's important that I play well this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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