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February 18, 2009

Phil Mickelson


Q. So how is the defending champion doing?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've had a great day with this wonderful weather. It's beautiful, back to normal, California weather. We had a rough week. And the golf course looks to be in great shape.
So excited to play the Pro-Am and see how the course is playing, and then tee off early tomorrow.

Q. Do you think as the defending champion, this will help you get your game back on track?
PHIL MICKELSON: I certainly hope so. I've played well here the last couple of years. I had a good practice session this morning and I think that it's starting to come around.
But the first three weeks obviously were not what I wanted. This is a great place to get it turned around, though.

Q. What are the signs that you are seeing now?
PHIL MICKELSON: Just getting the misses to be a little bit smaller, not quite as big. I've had a number of shots out-of-bounds and penalty strokes and so forth. So I need to get the misses back into control.

Q. When you come back to a place that you have had success, is the course itself something that you can look at to turn things around?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think the course does have a big effect given that you feel comfortable on a certain golf course and you know the reads on some of the greens. I think that helps with the confidence of making putts and making confident strokes.
And of course, here, where it's very difficult for anybody to run away with a low score, is also nice, because you feel as though you don't have to press and you don't have to force the issue with birdies?

Q. How much mental energy do you spend on worrying about things when you are not in your peak form?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think "worrying" is the word. I think I think about it a lot, trying to figure out what exactly is going on, and try to identify what the problem is before you can fix it.

Q. Can you sometimes think too much?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm sure we all do that in some sense. Right now, it's just been a little rusty and haven't played the way I would like.
Again, it doesn't feel as far off as the scores are indicating, so I feel like if I can just get a little thing here and there, and the misses can come back down into play, I'll be okay.

Q. Will you commute like last year?

Q. Usually this tournament is played under the threat of rain, and in California, February is the rainiest month; do you think the California fans get the short end of the golf stick and don't get a chance to come back for any West Coast tournaments after this turn?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, the weather is usually so much better here than any other part of the country in January, February, even though these are our roughest months, it's really the only chance for us to play golf is here on the West Coast, because other parts of the country just cannot accommodate it.
But it's a little deceptive because we don't always see the Southern California weather, like we saw at Pebble last week with all of the rain. It just doesn't show what great weather we have year-round.

Q. How much easier would it be?
PHIL MICKELSON: If we played on the West Coast entirely? I would love it. I think a lot more guys would move out here. But it's more logistic for guys to live on the East Coast given that so many more tournaments are played back there.

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