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February 10, 2018

Phil Mickelson

Pebble Beach, California

Q. A much more difficult day to score than you had the previous two. What's your assessment of today's round?
PHIL MICKELSON: I had a lot of opportunities that I let slide. I hit a lot of good shots. And certainly on this golf course with the greens being small and firm, you don't always get rewarded. But I had enough opportunities that I just wasn't able to capitalize on and I probably let three or four shots slide that would have moved me right up the leaderboard. But I'm in contention, I have a shot tomorrow with a good, hot round. And I love playing Pebble in this type of, these type of conditions with an opportunity.

Q. Four times a winner here already in your career. What sort of number do you think you need tomorrow to make it five?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well it will have to be low, obviously, but it won't have to be as low as you would think because the conditions are quite a bit more difficult than we have had in the past. But anything mid 60s will have a fair shot.

Q. Did the 6th hole take a little steam out of you there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, sure it did, yeah. It happens. Those are, it happens out here, but that was certainly disappointing.

Q. One birdie, one bogey, 72 as a whole. How would you describe the day? Where do you want to make up some ground?
PHIL MICKELSON: I let a lot of good opportunities slide. I hit a lot of really good golf shots that some were rewarded that I didn't capitalize on and some weren't. I probably left three or four really important shots out there that hurt. But I have a good chance heading into tomorrow's round. If I get off to a good start and play good solid round, a lot of times the winner has come from the group or two ahead of the leaders. And with the conditions being as tough as they are, I wouldn't be surprised if that happens again.

Q. Not too many times you go through two rounds with only one bogey. Normally that would be really good, but it seems like you don't feel like you're, you didn't quite take advantage of that.
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I didn't. I had a couple of good opportunities that just didn't quite go. And I know that the greens are tough, I know everybody's got to deal with them, but if you're going to win, you've got to make those putts, you got to do it. I've put myself in contention last week and now this week and I'm excited about that. And I'm excited about playing here on the weekend with a chance, even though I'll have to go a little bit lower than I would have liked. But it's fun entering the final round here with an opportunity.

Q. Greens are always hard around here, Phil, but are they actually harder when it's dryer and sunny?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, they're so small and the fronts are blocked. Who it's really tough for is the amateurs. They really aren't able to fly the ball over the obstacles in front and get the ball stopped, and so we're seeing them really struggle out here. And they're a lot better players than what they're showing. But we're able to usually hit the ball high and soft enough to get the ball stopped and have chances and I just didn't take advantage of some of them.

Q. Putting-wise, are they any different putting when it's dry as compared to wet and soft?
PHIL MICKELSON: They're very contoured, so they are a little bit faster when they're dryer, but they're also a little smoother than we have had in the past, so it kind evens out.

Q. What do you expect to be the biggest challenge for tomorrow? Because you're confidence here is always so sky high.
PHIL MICKELSON: The first seven holes will be critical. You just, to have an opportunity, I need to play them in at least 2- and probably 3- or 4-under par. And if I can do that, I'll have a good chance with the last 12 holes. But those first seven holes are going to be important.

Q. It's good to have a chance.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I think so. It's fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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