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June 10, 2004

Phil Mickelson


Q. Given what you just said, 2-under is pretty good.

PHIL MICKELSON: I'll certainly take 2-under, and it's something I need to improve on for tomorrow given that Vijay and Jacobson all shot 8 and 7-under. There's a lot of birdies out there. I just had a hard time getting the ball close to the hole with the number of the pins, and fortunately I didn't make any big mistakes.

After the first hole I didn't put myself in a tough position for par throughout the rest of the round, so when I did make a couple of birdies I was able to get in the red figures.

Q. How important was the last hole here to at least get birdie there; obviously it lipped out?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, every shot is important, but I felt like it was not an overly difficult 4 on the last hole because if you just drive it in the fairway you can reach it, and I hit a good second shot in. It was a very easy chip. I wasn't concerned with not making a 4; I was trying to make 3 because it was a pretty good look at it.

Q. Even though the pins were, as you said, were difficult, when you see some of the low numbers that were out there, did you make yourself wonder "Where was that for me today?"

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the course is interesting in that there are so many tough pins on seemingly short holes like 2, 3 can be tough, 4 can be tough, the pin placements are very difficult to make birdie. But we have three par 5s that are reachable and we've got two par 4s that you can pretty much drive, No. 7 and No. 10, and I didn't birdie No. 7, I didn't birdie No. 10 and I didn't birdie No. 5, the par 5 that was reachable. So out of the five birdie holes I only made two, and that's where I felt like I gave back the round, that if I could have capitalized on those -- 4, 5, 6-under par was a very good round today and it's something I'll be shooting for tomorrow.

Q. What happened here?

PHIL MICKELSON: I missed it on the right side of the green, put one on the short side right in the rough and had a tough lie, so I made sure not to do that again throughout the round.

Q. Any idea where the pins might be tomorrow?

PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't see them. Bones looked at them. We'll go over them before the round tomorrow.

There are only a couple of really tough spots on a lot of those holes and it seemed like they used a lot of them today, so I would anticipate there will be more birdies as the week goes on. It seems like it was very similar to what Augusta tried to do this year, make Thursday and Friday extremely difficult and make a few birdies, par a great score, and then put the pins in accessible spots to add to excitement on Sunday, which I thought worked out all right.

Q. For anybody who wins here, though, this week, what does that do leading into the Open? I mean, just putting yourself in that spot?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it certainly gives you a little bit of momentum to play well here.

I don't think winning is as important as playing well and having a good tournament and gaining some confidence heading into next week, but certainly winning the golf tournament, you come into the U.S. Open with a big boost of confidence.

End of FastScripts.

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