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August 7, 2008

Phil Mickelson


Q. Do you see the bogeys more or the birdies more even though they are the same number?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm just happy to have shot even par today. I think that after the start, bogeying the first two holes, I thought it was pretty good to hang in there, fight and make some birdies, because there were a lot of holes that were tough to get to. And yet, if you were patient, there were some pin placements you could get to.
I made some good putts there on my backside which was the front, to get the round to under par, and made some good pars coming in. So I'll gladly take it. I felt like -- well, it's always -- I felt like I let a few short game shots get away, which I didn't do last week, so I've got to work on that before tomorrow's round. I felt like I hit some good shots.

Q. How do conditions compare from practice to today?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was surprised at the transition, how different it was from yesterday to today. I thought it would be a little firmer, a little faster but it got a lot firmer and a lot faster yesterday. That's going to make it play pretty difficult on the weekend unless we get some rain.

Q. Your save on 13, can you talk about the chip-in?
PHIL MICKELSON: The save on 13, I hit and I thought, okay, 5-iron to the center of the green and wasn't trying to do anything too fancy there and had an awkward stance out of the bunker and hit an okay shot to ten feet off the fringe but it wasn't on the green and I ended up chipping in.

Q. Could have been three bogeys out of four.
PHIL MICKELSON: I birdied the previous hole, so I was only 1-over at the time. You know, if you can stay within two, three shots of par, you can catch up.

Q. After your start, did you make any adjustments or was it just better execution?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I couldn't hit a better shot on 10. I mean, I hit a hybrid. I didn't even hit a driver or a 3-wood and it landed in the middle of the fairway, and it ended up two inches outside the bunker's edge and I'm standing in the bunker with no stance. Those things happen. You're going to get unfortunate breaks.
But I don't know what I could have done differently as far as execution there. But unfortunately sometimes when you get a course this challenging, you get into some predicaments.

Q. What's the test to your patience with pin placements around this course?
PHIL MICKELSON: The challenge with the pin placements is that if you want to try to fire -- to make up some ground and fire at a pin to make birdie, you're not always afforded the opportunity to do that on the very next hole. You might have to wait two or three holes to try to make pars before you're able to get that shot back that you just lost.

Q. How tough is that?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's challenging but that's what we face in all the majors. That's the patience factor and one of the reasons why winning a major is always more difficult.

Q. Is it easier mentally to accept the bogeys when you know that it's not just you and everybody is going to be struggling that way?
PHIL MICKELSON: Everybody is going to make bogeys. If you can just keep your round around par, you're going to be in the tournament, and so that's more the focus. What other guys do doesn't really matter because some will go up the leaderboard and come back. You just know that par is kind of the score that is going to be pretty good.
Although this week, I do think there will be some under-par scores that will win.

Q. How good of a shot was 17?
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a really good 4-iron shot there that -- it's lucky to get it close. It was a good shot that should have been on the green and it was, but that it ran by the hole, that was a bonus. It's just hard, again to, control the ball on the green coming in with that longer club. 18 was a 4-iron as well.

Q. And you were trying to hit a cut into 18?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was trying to draw it and I hung it out.

Q. What about the birdie out of the fairway bunker?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it wasn't -- I was trying to make par obviously from the bunker. I hit a good 9-iron out of there. I just missed the fairway. I had an okay shot out of the bunker. Hit a 9-iron to 25, 30 feet straight up the hill.
So I had to make a putt to do that. It wasn't like I could really hit it close.

Q. When you talk about your short game shots, were you talking about on 7, the up-and-down from there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, that was a really good one. That was a good one. That was my best of the day. No. 10 was an easy chip shot and I just kind of whiffed it. I just didn't hit a good shot. No. 2, the par 5, I hit two great shots just right past the hole right where I wanted to be and thought I hit an okay chip but it didn't end up where I needed it to be and had a downhill 5- to 6-footer and missed it. Just chipping it or hitting it to the wrong spot.

End of FastScripts

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