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August 12, 2011

Phil Mickelson


Q. What did you learn about the final four holes, especially 18, that you can put to use this weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON: What did I learn?

Q. Over the last couple of days?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I had come out earlier, you know, and practiced here and kind of developed a game plan so I don't think I really learned anything new in the last couple of days.
I knew that they were hard before I came here on Thursday.

Q. Adam Scott said if he had to make par to win on 18, he might lay up even from the fairway. Is that a reasonable strategy?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I mean, the last hole, the landing area, doesn't move if the tee goes up or back. By moving the tee up, it doesn't mean you can hit the ball further down the fairway because there's no fairway to hit to. You have to carry the water and the fairway angles away, it goes right in the bunker.
So if you want to go for the green, you have to be in the fairway, you have to play back. So they can move the tee box back 60 yards or up. It wouldn't matter; the landing area stays the same.
So the second shot is a challenge. You know, it's a good, hard challenging shot over water of 230 yards or so.

Q. Despite that last hole, you still seem to be right there, but nobody is going anywhere in terms of the top. What do you feel going into the weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON: I played really well today, and the thing I was most pleased with was I had a lot of putts that were companying the lips and I was getting frustrated, but I was able to stay patient and make some birdies -- I say some; two, which was a lot for me (laughter).
I birdied 12 and 17, and I felt that that was a really good sign for me that I had stayed patient throughout the day, despite, you know, six, seven putts that looked like I had made it and caught the lip, which was wearing on me throughout the day.
But I was able to stay patient and then make that one on 17, it felt great. I thought I was going to get home to the house but unfortunately doubled the last.

Q. Do you still feel that you're in a halfway decent position, two rounds to go --
PHIL MICKELSON: Because there's so many guys ahead of me, I have to shoot a low number. I can't wait for anybody to come back because there's too many guys up there. So I have to shoot something, 4-, 5-, 6-under par tomorrow. It's certainly out there. Guys are doing it every day. It's certainly out there. I just need to go out and shoot it.

Q. Do you feel like your experience in majors can help you make up some ground over some of the guys at the top of the leaderboard that have not won a major yet?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if past experience is going to make a difference or not. I just think that you've got to hit the shots and make some putts. It's pretty obvious how you have to play the holes.
There's no options to play the holes different ways. It's pretty obvious you are going to play it this way, so it doesn't take experience to know that. You just have to execute. And there's some guys out there executing and making some birdies, and you can do that out here.
For 17 holes, I played well and then it was just the last hole I didn't.

Q. Does it surprise you that you see a leaderboard with guys like Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley, guys that are not necessarily major champions?
PHIL MICKELSON: It doesn't surprise me at all this week, no. They are very good players, and they are very talented. They have been in contention a number of times, but that's not a surprise to me, no. I've seen how good they are.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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