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August 11, 2011

Phil Mickelson


Q. How did you enjoy your pairing?
PHIL MICKELSON: We knew that was going to happen, Bones and I knew that months ago. It's just the way the PGA likes to put past champions together, and also guys that have gone head-to-head; so it was an obvious pairing, and I like playing with David. He's fun to play with. I enjoyed playing with Vijay. We had a good day today. He didn't play his best obviously, he actually struggled but we had a fun day today.

Q. Talk about the golf course, different than what you played ten years ago?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's totally different. It's great for the PGA. It's terrific. It's in great shape. It's difficult. It's challenging. There's some really hard holes, and there's some birdie holes. And I think it's a great site for the PGA.
But I also think if you look at the four par 3s here, it's a perfect example of how modern architecture is killing the game, because these holes are unplayable for the member. You have water in front and you have a bunker behind, and you give the player no Avenue to run a shot up, and the 7th hole, where there is not any water; there's a big bunker in front and right of the green, instead of helping the player get it on to the green, it goes down into the lower area, as does the left side.
Now, for us out here, it doesn't make a bit of difference, because we are going to fly the ball to the green either way. And that's why I say it's great for the championship.
But it's a good reason why the number of rounds are down on this golf course amongst the membership. And it's a good reason why, in my opinion, this is a great example again of how modern architecture is killing the participation of the sport because the average guy just can't play it.

Q. Your thoughts on the round today, 1-over par, you can't be really disappointed but you hit it pretty solid until the last few holes.
PHIL MICKELSON: I played well today. Got off to a terrible start. I spotted the field from shots right on the first hole and I had to fight. Throughout the day I hit a lot of good shots on the hard holes and made some good par, and only a couple birdies, and shot 1-over.
Certainly not what I wanted. But I feel like my game is right there. You know, it's about to turn. The thing that happened on 10 did not happen again the rest of the round, and I'm not going to let it happen again the rest of the tournament; and I'm going to fight hard tomorrow to get into the weekend.

Q. How do you assess overall?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was an okay start. I mean, it's an okay start. I know I'm playing well enough, and I'm going to get tomorrow's round and get back in it, but today was not what I wanted. Starting on the first hole I spotted the field two shots right at the get-go.
Didn't happen again the rest of the day, and I'm not going to let that happen again the rest of the week. But I spotted the field two shots at the first hole and had to fight hard just to get to where I was.

Q. Can you talk about your views on the golf course, the par 3s here?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, Tom, I think this is a great site for the tournament, I really do. It's perfect, because there's some really hard holes and there's some really easy holes for birdies. And I think it's going to be exciting to watch. You're going to see a lot of calamity coming down the stretch and a lot of birdies early and late in the round -- early and middle of the round.
Did and again, it's a wonderful site. But the four holes, the four par 3s, are a wonderful example, and a number of others throughout the course; that is the reason why participation in the sport is going down, because of the modern architecture, that doesn't let the average guy play.
Now, we have no problem playing these holes, but when you put water in front and a bunker in back, and you give the player no vehicle to run a shot up, the member can't play and that's why membership participation on this golf course is down like 25 per cent.
And it's every course throughout -- modern architecture, there are some great ones, but the guy that redid this one, you know, it's great for the championship, but it's not great for the membership.

Q. The closing stretch, Adam Scott likened it to Carnoustie. How would you describe the final four holes?
PHIL MICKELSON: They are very difficult. And understand, I like making the hard holes harder. I have no problem on 15 moving the tee back to 260. It's one of the hardest par 3s here, and to move it back, make it even harder just makes a par makeup even more ground up on the field and so I have no problem with that.
There are holes like 10,11, 12, that are fairly easy and benign holes, and that's why I say, it's a great site for the tournament but you have to get your birdies early because the last four holes, you're unlikely to make them there.

Q. Even with circumstances with Tiger this year, is it jarring to see +6 next to his name?
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't know that. He was right behind me. He was 2-under through four and that's the last I saw.

Q. 3-under through five.
PHIL MICKELSON: There you go. So, like I say, you're going to see some birdies out here and you're going to see some big numbers, too.

Q. Did you enjoy yourself? Is it fun to play?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a fun, great golf course, and what this is, is a long golf course. It's not fun. It's not great. It's not exciting. There's no intimacy. It's just long and it's hard, and that's what it is.

Q. What did you hit on 15?

Q. What did you hit off the tee on 18?
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit 4-iron, 4-iron.
You know the thing about 18 is it's a great par 5 in the back. But the landing area has to be the same area, even though the tee is moved up 60 yards, you still have to hit it to the same area because of the way the water has cut in, and the fairway that turns left banks into the bunkers.
So it's a great par 5, and it's just, you know, it's a great par 5. (Laughter).

Q. Your thoughts on Stricker being up there, probably not at all surprised?
PHIL MICKELSON: Not at all surprised, no. The greens here are spectacular, and the fairways are the best I've ever seen. They truly are the best fairways I've ever seen, and the greens are immaculate shape.
So you put Steve Stricker, give him nice lies in the fairway, and he's going to have some good putts at it, and on good greens, he make as lot of them. So it's not a surprise to see him up there, and it's fun to see him up there. He's such a great guy; it's good to see him playing well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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