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July 18, 2013

Phil Mickelson


Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I had a good lie. I got lucky. I got lucky, they didn't step on it, because I would have had to drop it and it wouldn't have been sitting up, as well. We got run over a couple of times walking down the middle of the fairway by people (laughter).

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I played well. I had a spurt there in the middle of the round where I had some technical difficulties and hit some poor shots but was able to make pars and then turned it around. I kind of keyed in on it after the par 13, and from there on in I hit a couple of good shots and made a couple of birdies coming in. I got very lucky to play early today because as the day wore on and we got to the back nine, about a third of every green started to die and became brown. And the pins were very edgy, on the slopes and whatnot, that the guys that played early had a huge, huge break. Because even without any wind it's beyond difficult.

Q. Speaking of the greens, on 18 --
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, and I'm trying to lag it, because I know it's quick. I'm trying to lag the one on 17 and it still goes six or seven feet by. No. 8 is probably the worst one that you'll see if you watch it on TV. It won't stop until it collects in a little level area about eight feet away, six, eight feet away. Very difficult conditions and playing early gave us at least a fighting chance. And you can get off to a good start here, you can birdie the par-5, so you can shoot a reasonable score. But we got let go of our ego sometimes and just set the course up the way the best players can win.

Q. After this first round, do you find yourself in decent position? I know it can always be better.
PHIL MICKELSON: I love the fact that I shot under par, because it's a very challenging course out there. I don't expect anybody to beat the lead from the morning wave, I just don't think it's possible.

Q. You said you have to let go of your ego, were there times today you didn't do that.
PHIL MICKELSON: I wasn't referring to me (laughter). Sorry, I'm standing high up here.

Q. You made a lot of nice putts, but can you tell on (inaudible).
PHIL MICKELSON: I missed ball in the wrong spot left. You just couldn't go left of that hole and I did, and I didn't have a chance to get the chip close, but I made the 20-footer for par. It was uphill. It was a little right to left. And the grass was actually green on the green, and I was able to be aggressive with it and make it.

Q. Do you feel you putted well?
PHIL MICKELSON: I putted well all day.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, just same stuff I've been working on as far as swing and ball-striking and so forth. And I just had a slight mishap for about five holes mid-round. And I was able to fight and make pars, just kind of advance it up on the green, two-putt from 80, 120 feet and stay in it and I got it turned around.

Q. How do you resolve that?
PHIL MICKELSON: You just keep trying -- I know that it's close, because I've been hitting the ball well, so it's a fraction of that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the greens are dying, and the holes are on edges of slopes that the ball just simply won't stay. You drop it, it won't stay by the hole.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, not this morning, no. I'm guessing it will be this afternoon, but not when we played. It was fine.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: It's different. It's just a different culture over here. In the States we don't have 90 people inside the ropes. We have a few. And it's just a different culture. But always has been. I knew it coming over. It was just the way it was. Last week I almost got run over an a cart four or five times on the front nine.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: It gets annoying after a while, yeah.

Q. In the afternoon will you expect that you're going to have to deal with the same kind of stuff these guys are this afternoon?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, hopefully they'll, like I said, let go of their ego and set it up reasonable, but you just never know.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: "Joy" would not be the word I'd used to describe it, no.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I think both the players and the tournament committee were excited about the conditions because of how firm the golf course is playing. And I think they wanted a little bit more wind, but there's enough wind that it's challenging to maneuver shots and get them to -- you have to hit shots to accommodate the wind, to get the ball coming into the greens at the right angles and stuff.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, we've all been there where you make a bogey or so, and you just want to try to get that birdie back. And sometimes in trying to get it back you put it in a spot that you make another bogey. I've been there a number of times. It's happened to me a bunch throughout my career, especially in Major championships. And he had a couple of shots that had a chance to get close to the hole and they ended up in a really bad spot.

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