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July 13, 2013

Phil Mickelson


Q.テつ That was a lot of fun for us to watch, tell us about it from your point of view?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Well, the last 11 holes were a lot of fun for me to play.テつ The first seven, I was off to a bit of a slow start.テつ I let go of‑‑ we had great birdie opportunities there.テつ Two par 5s that are reachable, drivable par 4.テつ I played those holes in even par and was really behind when I'm trying to make up some ground on the lead.テつ Got started on No. 8.テつ Hit a good shot in there, made birdie, and birdied 9 and 10 and it just got going.
So I put myself in good position for tomorrow's final round and I'm looking forward to it.

Q.テつ What's pleased you most about your play so far this week?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Off the tee has been a real strength for me, and cross‑winds, it's historically given me problems, and I've kept the ball in play, I think as well as I ever have.テつ This has been nice.テつ I know the fairways are generous and wide but they don't play wide because they are so firm with the crosswinds and whatnot.テつ I felt like putting the ball into play has allowed me to a play aggressively into the greens.

Q.テつ Winning on a links course in Scotland would be pretty special, wouldn't it?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Yes, it would be really fun.テつ More than that my game is starting to feel good.テつ I'm starting to feel much better on the greens.テつ I'm starting to get my touch better around the greens, much better than on Thursday when we started.テつ Today's round was a lot of fun on the back nine when I started hitting some good shots.

Q.テつ Your family are having a lot of fun, tell us about that.
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Inverness is a wonderful town that they went in.テつ They have some great parks and fun centers and the kids had a blast.テつ A couple of beautiful rivers that they were jumping in, and it's been really a lot of fun.テつ The weather here has been perfect, too.

Q.テつ With the outright lead and the fireworks on the 8th, what ignited the charge?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ You know, you want to get off to such a good start, because you have some great birdie opportunities early on, and I didn't get that to happen, and on the 8th hole, I tried to just slow down and be a little bit more patient.
I hit a good shot in there and got one putt to roll in and that just seemed to ignite the rest of the round.テつ I ended up making some good birdies there coming in.テつ I don't think that will hold up in the lead.テつ I think it will be a couple back, but you never know, and the point is that I got in a good position for tomorrow's final round and I'm really looking forward to it.

Q.テつ What's coming together best for you?テつ A lot of players chose not to come to Castle Stuart but what kind of advantage do you feel this preparation is giving you?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Well as the week wore on and I spent more time on the ground here at Castle Stuart, my short touch and lag game has gotten much better, my touch shots around the greens have gotten really sharp because I've been able to practice it.
The area I've really enjoyed the challenge is off the tee, in the cross‑winds, keeping the ball in play, I've driven the ball very well and if I'm able to do that tomorrow, I should be able to be aggressive into the pins and make some birdies.

Q.テつ I know you're seeking your first win on U.K. soil, but the idea of a win in Scotland one you particularly cherish, isn't it?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Any victory over here would be terrific.テつ We are getting ahead of ourselves, there's a packed leaderboard and a lot of people there so it will take one good round of a shootout between 15 and 20 guys that are right there.テつ Being in position and shooting that good round today feels terrific but I've got to go out tomorrow and duplicate it.

Q.テつ I know the family is here, great to see Amy and the kids, what have they been getting up to whilst you've been at work?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ They have had a blast.テつ The town of Inverness has some beautiful rivers they were jumping off of, bridges into the rivers, parks and slides and all kinds of fun stuff.テつ They have had a blast and it's been a fun trip, especially when we've had such perfect weather.

Q.テつ In great position heading into the final round here in Scotland, first of all, that was a good save on the final hole?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Yeah, I got a little bit unlucky in that the only area of trouble is that heather I found but I was able to make a good putt.テつ A good putter can make up for a lot of faults.

Q.テつ What has worked especially well for you?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Off the tee has been some of the best I've driven it in crosswinds with this thick heavy air historically has given me problems but I've put the ball in play off the tee extremely well and that's allowed me to be aggressive into a lot of the holes.

Q.テつ What have you learned about playing links golf that you did not fully understand, say, a decade ago?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I don't know if it's anything I didn't understand; you still have to play shots and angles.テつ I think the biggest difference is that angles into the pins are every bit as important.
A good example is on 15, although it was reachable today, if I miss it to the right I'm just trying to make par and by laying back‑‑ I had a chance to get aggressive into the pin. Leaving the ball into the right spot and a good angle into the pin is every bit as important as executing the shot.

Q.テつ At this stage of your career, how important is it for you to add a victory over here to demonstrate that your game does travel?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Well, let's not over estimate this.テつ I'm playing well and it feels terrific.テつ I would love to win here in the U.K. especially on a links golf course, but it just feels good to be able to drive the ball well, hit the shots that I need to and play well over here.

Q.テつ I understand that Amy okayed that the kids jumped into a local river yesterday from a fairly high bridge; was that okay?テつ We know Dad isn't averse to taking on the risky shot on a golf course?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I'm all about calculated risks.テつ The river was 15 feet deep and it was deep enough and they mapped it out and made a calculated decision and they decided to have a little fun.テつ That kind of sounds like our family.

Q.テつ Scottish crowds, how have they been?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ They are so nice.テつ The people here have been so nice, and all throughout the town, striking up conversations, and out here, the galleries are just so complimentary.テつ The people here are just terrific.テつ They treat us so well no matter where you're from and it's been a lot of fun to play here.

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