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July 18, 2008

Phil Mickelson


Q. Nice finish.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a good finish, a much different day today, different weather. It wasn't the same beast that we were trying to tackle yesterday morning, and teeing off, you felt like there was a score out there. You felt like there were some birdies, and I was able to get some on the back nine.

Q. You were kind of muddling along early. Were you just not putting it all together?
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, the front nine is a lot tougher to score on than the back. The back, you've got a couple par-5s. There's one -- I hit a good shot on 5, which is a birdie hole. I hit a driver and had an L-wedge in and almost made it, but the pin was right on a ridge, it was right on a tier, and as it went by the hole, it went another 12, 15 feet.
The holes that were birdiable on the front nine had very funky pins and it was hard for me to get it in without making a 30-footer, which I didn't exactly do. The back nine there were a lot of birdies, though.

Q. When you make the turn, are you thinking cut line, or are you thinking there are more opportunities, you're feeling confident?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was thinking anything under par today would be a good round. I knew I could shoot under par. The goal was to get under par.
I feel like -- I thought there was a 5- or 6-under par round out there. I was trying to shoot 4 or 5 the back nine. But with being at 7-over right now, the good thing is I'm still fighting. I still have a chance, I'm still in the tournament. And historically in this event, we've had events like '02 at Muirfield where the weather is fine in the morning and then a gale came in in the afternoon and you never know what's going to happen. As long as I keep fighting and still have a chance, still playing, I get to tee off tomorrow. If I can get a good round with some decent weather, something comes in in the afternoon, you never know what can happen out here.

Q. Were you asking about what the cut line was?
PHIL MICKELSON: I did not, no. Bones did. He told me on 17, and that factored in. You know, again, one shot difference on Friday might not mean a lot by Sunday, but it certainly could in my ability to stay in the tournament.

Q. They're expecting some serious winds over the next two days. There are 36 holes to play. You're only eight shots back.
PHIL MICKELSON: I need it. I mean, I need serious weather. I need those guys to struggle. It would be nice if it waited until around 2:00 tomorrow to do that (laughter). We're going to need some luck. I'm going to need some luck. But I'm still in it, I'm still fighting, I still have a chance, and that's all I could ask for heading into the day.

Q. The crowd was really loud when you came down the 18th.
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that late in the day everybody has had a few drinks, just looking for a chance to roar, you know?

Q. What do you think when you see Greg Norman's name at the top of the leaderboard?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think there's two great stories there. I think Greg Norman and David Duval are two great stories. K.J. Choi is another great story. This guy has been so solid for so long in the majors. But Norman and Duval are the exciting stories and the ones to watch, and I think kind of the heart-warming stories that everybody is pulling for.

Q. Was Norman a factor when you were a kid playing or in the formation of how you started playing?
PHIL MICKELSON: I came up when -- when I was in college he was doing well. I went to college from '88 to '92, and '86 was his big year. I grew up watching him as a teenager but not so much as a kid.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm old, I know. I'm old. I've been out here a while. I don't feel that old, but as I look at it, I'm one of the older guys.

Q. Well, he was No. 1 for such a long time.
Again, I'm still in it, I'm still fighting. You never know what's going to happen with the weather. As long as I'm still playing and get to tee off tomorrow, I'm going to fight and try to shoot something under par. I need a little break with the weather. I need to have a good round. But if I shoot 3-, 4-under par and we get some weather in the afternoon, that's going to be very close to the lead.

Q. Under the circumstances, how would you rate that round today, from being on the edge of the cut to now being back in the tournament?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it was an important round. It wasn't a spectacular round because the conditions were so different. It wasn't anywhere near the animal yesterday morning we ran into.
There was no rain, the wind died down significantly, so there were some birdies out there. Even though it was tough and it was windy, it wasn't anything like yesterday.

Q. About David, I think everybody probably feels for him because -- for obvious reasons. You don't want to lose your game, he had some injury problems and whatnot. Can you just expand as a player who fights -- everybody fights bad times and whatnot, but his has been a little bit of an extended period. How much do you root for him to get back and play well?
PHIL MICKELSON: He and I were partners in lot of the Ryder Cup matches and Presidents Cup matches, and all I saw was how solid he struck it and how solid he was putting the ball from 12 feet in. I played with him when he won Atlanta in '99 and passed Tiger for No. 1 in the world. He played some amazing golf. It's hard for me to envision his game today because I only see it for what it was like in the late '90s. For him to be resurging right now is exciting because he might make this Ryder Cup team. If he has a good finish on this weekend, finishes top 2 or 3, he's right in there for the Ryder Cup. I think that would be a neat story.

End of FastScripts

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