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July 14, 2013

Phil Mickelson


SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ It's been said a few times out there, but let's say it again.テつ Many, many congratulations, what a fantastic performance.テつ The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Champion, how does that sound?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ That sounds terrific.テつ It's been really a fun number of years, I started coming here right around 2000 or so and spent a lot of years here enjoying my time in Scotland and enjoying this competition, and have had a few opportunities, come close a couple of times, and to finally win, that feels great.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ It was exciting for us to watch.テつ What was it like to play it?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I had a bit of a rocky start.テつ It was a bit of an up‑and‑down round but I hit a lot of good shots in between.テつ I don't know what happened on 18.テつ I lost my focus a touch and then was able to re‑gain it for the playoff to come back with a birdie and win.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Just talk us through that extra hole.
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Hit a good tee shot, and felt like I had a chance to get it on the green and I hit another good 3‑wood, and left myself really in a good spot.テつ I had a good, tight lie and the pin was in kind of a low area; if I could just fly it in that low area it would kind of funnel to the hole and it ended up being a tap‑in.

Q.テつ Where does winning in Scotland and winning on a links course feature in the things you've wanted to do in your life?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ It's important to me, and it's probably the biggest challenge of my career is hitting the shots that are required here.テつ Getting good touch on or around the greens; putting these fescue greens well, as well as controlling the ball flight in severe cross‑winds.
And so to win here and to play well here, finally win on a links golf course, it really means a lot to me, and it also builds my confidence heading into future Scottish and British Opens.

Q.テつ Having spoken about how much you meant to win this; would you like to come back next year and defend your title in Aberdeen?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Oh, absolutely, yeah, no question.テつ I've loved Castle Stuart.テつ Amy and the kids, we've had a great week here.テつ Inverness is a wonderful town, beautiful town; great parks and recreations and rivers and restaurants, and we've had a wonderful time here.
But absolutely, I've heard great things about Royal Aberdeen Golf Course, and I'll definitely be back, sure.

Q.テつ After missing that putt on 18 to get into the playoff, you hugged your family before you went back out; what was that by you or your family before you went back out?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I was just getting a little luck from them and refocusing, after making a mistake like that, just refocussing and coming out and trying to make a birdie.

Q.テつ I believe this is your 50th professional win; where does this one rank against all the others?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ It's hard to say where it ranks with other events, but it's very special to me, because I have not won here in Scotland until now.テつ I've only recently, only probably the last eight or nine years, have I really started to play links golf effectively.
I felt like the biggest challenge for me was actually putting on these greens, and the fescue grasses and the crosswinds and so forth and I putted very well this week; especially today when the wind was at its greatest and strongest.テつ It really feels like it is fulfilling and it feels like a good accomplishment for me as a player, and so this feels really good.テつ

Q.テつ Obvious question.テつ What does this do for your chances at Muirfield?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Well, certainly is a confidence‑booster.テつ It certainly helps my play on links golf, and having a day like today, where the weather was difficult, where I was in contention in the final group and feeling the pressure of the lead; that this can only do good things.
But, to win any Open Championship, whether it's the Scottish Open or the British Open, on links golf, you need some luck.テつ You need a little bit of luck.テつ You need some good breaks with your tee times; I had some good weather with my tee times this week.テつ You need some good bounces.テつ You just need a little bit of luck, as well as good play.
And so hopefully I'll put myself in position through good play to have a chance, if I can get a few good breaks.テつ But that's part of‑‑ you've got to embrace those elements if you want to play well in links golf and The Open Championship.

Q.テつ Your last win in Europe was 20 years ago in Paris when you just turned pro.テつ Do you remember anything about it at all?テつ Or is that so long ago‑‑
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ That's been a little while ago, and I'd rather just‑‑ this one is a little fresher in my memory.
This tournament, it's special to me.テつ And playing here in Scotland, when it's the Home of Golf; to somebody like myself who has just loved everything about the game of golf and all that it's given me and given my family and how much joy it's given my life; to play well in the Home of Golf really means a lot to me.

Q.テつ Two parts, if you don't mind.テつ First of all, do you feel that by winning on a links and mastering the links, do you feel a complete golfer now that you've got a win under your belt?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I wouldn't say I've mastered links golf.テつ That's probably over‑stating it a little bit.テつ I certainly had a great week.テつ This is a big step for me.テつ I've had kind of baby steps along my career, so this means a lot.
I think that if I were to win an Open Championship in my career, I think that would be one of the greatest accomplishments I could achieve as a player, because it's the biggest challenge of my career, adapting my game, hitting the shots here that I have never had a chance to practise growing up.テつ That would be the biggest accomplishment of my career if I were able to do it.

Q.テつ Secondly, I hear you've been buyingFruit Pastilles by the boxload; is that a passion you want to tell us about?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Believe it or not, it's not my candy of choice.テつ But it is Bones's.テつ And so I bought a couple of dozen for him this week when I saw it at one of the little shops in town.テつ So, you know, I don't know how many he's gone through, but he got all two dozen from me.
I try not to eat too much candy.テつ I've got to be really careful on my diet given some of the challenges I've had these last few years, so it's not really something I've done, but he sure loves them.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)‑‑
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I wish, yeah.テつ No, he's worth every penny; pence.

Q.テつ You got off to the worst possible start today with a double‑bogey at the first to go four behind and a bogey at the third to go five behind.テつ What were you thinking when that happened, and have you ever come from five shots back with 15 holes to play to win?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Yeah.テつ In conditions like this, there are going to be mistakes and bogeys by everybody.テつ It's just going to happen.
There's not going to be any perfect rounds in conditions like this, so I just had to be patient and know that there were going to be some opportunities.テつ I didn't think anybody was going to run away and shoot a low round and win it outright.テつ It just wasn't going to happen.
But the first three holes were going to be the most difficult, because they were playing straight into the wind, and the next 12 holes would be the opportunity to make up some ground because they would be playing down or cross‑wind.

Q.テつ This is kind of ironic, the finish on your last hole and shot was classic American golf, if you like; you did you feel particularly confident over that one, and precisely which of your wedges were you using?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ It was actually a 64‑degree wedge and the reason I chose that one was I didn't really want to bounce it up given the pin being in that lower area, I wanted to fly it into the basin and use the wind to help stop the ball.
The number that I practise repeatedly with that wedge is a 50‑yard shot, and the pin was 45.テつ So with the hurting wind, it really wasn't much off of what I had practiced numerous times.テつ I just had to hit the same shot that I've hit thousands of times over the years and a shot that I felt very comfortable with.テつ It flew about the right yardage and used the ground there to funnel the ball to the hole.

Q.テつ You talked about losing your focus on the 18th the first time.テつ Was that because you allowed yourself to get ahead of yourself?テつ Were you thinking, I've won this now?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Probably, yeah.テつ I mean, how do you 3‑putt from that distance?テつ Once you're in that position, you kind of think that it's over and I probably just let my focus slide a little bit.テつ But it might have been a good thing in the end in that I was able to re‑focus and gain some confidence from my ability to do that heading into next week.
SCOTT CROCKETT:テつ Many, many congratulations, well done.

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