home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 3, 2010

Phil Mickelson


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome the defending champion at the World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions, Phil Mickelson.
Phil, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. You come to us this week with another great year under your belt, you claimed your third green jacket and followed that up with a runner-up finish in your next start at the Quail Hollow Championship, and four or five other top ten finishes. Maybe just some opening thoughts on what it's like to be back here and kind of your hopes and anticipations for the week.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I enjoy this tournament very much. And I think Sheshan Golf Club is a wonderful place to host this tournament. Two of the last three years, I've been fortunate to win this tournament and I look forward to playing it every year, and I'm excited about trying to defend my championship.

Q. How would you compare this WGC with some of the others?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that the feel of the World Golf Championships here in China truly has a "World" feel to it. We have a world-class field of the best players in the world competing on a global basis here, and to bring world-class golf to China is really a special feeling, because in the last three years, in the last four years, I've seen a huge growth, a huge excitement level over here for the game of golf.
And that means a lot to me, because of what the game has meant to me and what the game has given me over the years, to be able to see other players, other people excited about golf, and enjoy it over here is fun.

Q. Where would you say your game is right now in terms of how satisfied you are with it and the form that you've been showing this year?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's hard for me to know, because I haven't competed since The Ryder Cup. So it's hard for me to know.
It feels good. I went out and played a good round today in the Pro-Am. I feel like it's pretty good. But I won't know until I'm in the competition.

Q. And just to follow up, is there any sense of frustration to see the world No. 1 spot change hands, but obviously not into your hands, having had the opportunities that you've had this year?
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't played well since the Masters or as well as I expected, or maybe since the U.S. Open. So I don't feel like I've earned it. I've got to play well and win more tournaments, and then I feel like those results will take care of itself.

Q. Could you talk about the wee girl that joined you to play the 17th?
PHIL MICKELSON: Lucy. She was 12 years old. She was an incredible player. You could tell right away that she's got a lot of potential to be a great golfer. She has a wonderful swing, a great short game, great putting stroke. And at only 12, it's amazing how talented she is at such a young age. I hope that she continues to develop and continues to play well and improve and become a force on the LPGA.

Q. Can you explain how she played the hole?
PHIL MICKELSON: She hit a 6-iron to about 15 feet from the hole, lipped out the putt and made par.

Q. Some of this may be family-related, but given how many lately you've been playing around the world, is there any part of that you regrets maybe not doing this earlier in your career?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not sure, but I feel that now that golf has become an Olympic sport, it makes more sense, and I see the growth of the game and the excitement level of the game increase in countries throughout the world, and I want to be a part of it. I want to be a part of promoting the game and watching it grow.

Q. I'm sure you know all of the scenarios now at the top of the World Ranking, what would be your best guess for how long it takes to get this sorted out, right now there's four guys here and six guys really close?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think there will be any major movement until next year until we get the Major swing, and then you start getting the World Golf Championships events. Maybe towards the end of the West Coast, there might start to be some separation.

Q. Good for golf? Fun?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's fun to be a part of it and have a chance, yeah.

Q. Otherwise, same old, you just go back to the same way?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think it creates a certain interest level, where before -- we haven't had for a lot of years.

Q. But for you, you go about business the same way?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it will - I mean, I would love to accomplish that, but the only way to do that is play good golf. And the only way to do that is to not worry about it and try to make some birdies.
And so I feel like this is a tournament that has a lot of World Ranking points and one of the strongest fields in golf and a course that I've played well on in the past. I feel like I can put together a good week here and compete for the title. If I can do that, it will help my chances.

Q. I just wondered how you are; obviously you revealed the arthritic condition earlier in the year. Just kind of a condition check, are you still continuing to respond to the regime you are on as you would want to?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I've been taking one drug and I feel 100 per cent. I feel terrific. I cannot believe the difference. I've been able to do all of the normal activities in my life. My workouts have been back to where they were. I've been able to practise at whatever level, and I honestly don't feel any different than I did before I got affected.

Q. And you're still off the meat?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm re-living that one. So we'll see. I'm not sure yet.

Q. What do you mean you're not sure yet? Have you broken or not?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've been doing it for just over four months and I'm just having second thoughts. I don't know if it really is going to make a difference or what, so we'll see, I don't know.

Q. Is that code word for temptations are getting strong or what?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I just - I don't know. We'll see. We can talk about it in January, and I'll have a better idea. See how the holidays go.

Q. A question for you, last here in Shanghai you mentioned about some golf activities other than tournaments in China, like academy and golf course design. So how is it going?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's going very well. It's going to take some time. We started our plans a year ago, but it will probably take two to four years to get everything underway.
Down at Tian Jin just outside Beijing, we have an academy and a golf course that should open mid June or July next year. So that will be our first ones.
But the three courses and academy in Kunming, we are probably two years away. A couple of projects here in Shanghai, and probably a couple of years away, as well. But we are working on it and it's coming along nicely. I'm excited.

Q. Does it mean you are going to spend more time in China?
PHIL MICKELSON: It does. It does. In the past I've come here once a year. Now I'll probably end up coming here about three times a year now.

Q. Before the HSBC Champions, you attended some business activities; will they affect you in the performance this week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I scheduled those before the event, because I felt it would help me adjust to the time difference and not be jet-lagged. And so I feel much better, and I'm on the proper time schedule here in China, and I feel sharp and ready to compete now. So I think it helped me coming over early to do those.

Q. Lee Westwood this morning, he urged young, upcoming Chinese stars to play on the European circuit because he said you get more experience there in terms of courses that you play, etc. Is that something that you would agree with?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that there's some great things that can come from playing The European Tour, but I think ultimately the goal is to play against - play for the largest purses against the best players in the world, wherever that may be. Currently the majority of those events are held in the United States, but not all of them; like we have one of the best in the world right here in Shanghai.
DOUG MILNE: Well, Phil, as always, we appreciate your time and best of luck this week.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297