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August 30, 2013

Phil Mickelson


DOUG MILNE:テつ Phil, 8‑under, 63 to start the week off at the Deutsche Bank Championship.テつ Thanks for joining us for a minutes.テつ Comments on the first round here.
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Well, it was a good start, I got off to a great front nine.テつ And somewhat stalled in the back, but played 1‑under.テつ But after shooting 7‑under the first nine it was going to be a good round, as long as I didn't mess it up.

Q.テつ Hitting it out of the hazard as opposed to taking a drop, what was the issue?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I had a shot and a swing to get it out and my drop I would have been hindered by the branches.テつ So two club lengths, and the hillside was banked towards the hazard so when the ball hits it's going to go closer to the hazard and all those branches and limbs would have interfered with my swing.テつ I didn't feel like I had a shot so I felt like it was worth the risk.

Q.テつ You were asked outside about comparing it to Scottsdale on the first round.テつ How would you compare the round ball‑striking wise and putting‑wise?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I putted really well today.テつ My ball‑striking was okay.テつ I didn't knock it down‑‑ I didn't hit shots exceedingly close, other than the eagle putt on 2.テつ But what I did do is make a lot of 12‑ to 20‑foot putts.テつ The ones that you need to make to get a really hot round, I ended up making them.テつ And quite a few of them, at that.
So that's why it was such a good round score‑wise.テつ But I didn't feel like I was knocking down the pin.テつ I was just giving myself reasonable opportunities and I was rolling them in.

Q.テつ Your last six rounds have been sub‑70 here.テつ Is there anything in particular that sets up well for you on this golf course?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I do like the golf course a lot.テつ I think it's one of the best risk/reward courses that we play.テつ And I feel like there's plenty of room off the tee to get the ball in the fairway.テつ The fairways are generous.テつ If I'm able to hit them, which I hit a number of fairways, I'm able to be aggressive into the greens, which is the strength of my game, my iron play.テつ So I think that's why I like this golf course so much.

Q.テつ Do you leave thinking about the poor swing on 9 or do you think I made a bogey out of that situation?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ You know, I just mentally went blank for a swing.テつ It happens.テつ And I try to just forget it.テつ It only cost me one shot.

Q.テつ You had that good final round last week at Barclays.テつ Was there anything you took out of that from last week to this week or was it just simply the putts, like you said?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ No, it started to click.テつ I felt like Saturday is when it started to click.テつ I had a good feeling that I was going to have a low round on Sunday.テつ And felt very confident that I was going to have a good week here.テつ Granted we have three days to go, but I'm off to a good start.

Q.テつ Are you testing any equipment?テつ What was the makeup of your bag, I couldn't tell, did you two 3‑woods and a driver?
A.It was my normal makeup but I added the Phrankenwood as my driver, and I took out the 64‑degree wedge.

Q.テつ Secondly, you've got a Claret Jug at home or wherever it is, but what is the significance of you winning or playing well this time of the year?テつ Seems like you already can celebrate, right?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I think this is now our 7th year with the FedExCup, is that right?テつ And as time goes on, I think it's going to be more and more prestigious, it's something I'd like to capture.テつ And I just want to play well these next three weeks, because I feel like if I can add a win or two I have a realistic chance at Player of the Year, which I've never accomplished.テつ That would mean a lot to me, too.

Q.テつ Is this your best chance ever on FedExCup?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Possibly, I had a few other chances over the years, but if I finish off with one or two wins this year and win the FedExCup, I think that would be enough to get the Player of the Year.

Q.テつ I meant in terms of winning the FedExCup, do you feel this is your best chance, the way you're playing or the way you feel about your game?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Yeah, I feel really good about‑‑ this is‑‑ I had a couple of weeks where after the British Open, the PGA in Akron I wasn't sharp.テつ My game clicked again last week, and I feel like these next three weeks I'm going to play very well.テつ I can just feel it.テつ You can just tell sometimes.テつ The game feels sharp.テつ And mentally I have a lot of energy and I'm able to focus clearly.テつ And that's usually when you play well.

Q.テつ There were eight players whose advice on putting you sought, and how did you even think up that and where did you meet each of them and how long did those sessions last?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Those are all great questions, but let's move on to the next one (laughter).

Q.テつ You birdied seven out of the first nine holes.テつ And a par 71 golf course, Golf Channel switched into overdrive to cover you on the backside.テつ Did the thought of 59 enter your mind at any point?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ Sure it did, yeah.

Q.テつ When?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ At the turn, after I birdied 18 I felt‑‑ I've got to shoot 5‑under the backside to shoot 59.テつ There's some birdie holes on that front nine‑‑ my back nine, but the front nine.テつ And bogeying 1 was‑‑ hurt, but when I eagled 2, I thought it was realistic.テつ I needed to get 3 and 4.テつ When I didn't birdie 4, I stopped thinking 59.テつ I started just trying to get one or two more to shoot a low round in the 60s.

Q.テつ (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I was in the first cut on a downslope and it was just sitting down.テつ And I was trying to assess if I wanted to play a lob shot or just a normal pitch shot.テつ What I was looking at is how firm the ground was.テつ I thought it was going to be firmer where the club would skid under, but it turned out to be sandy and I went right underneath it.テつ Looking back I should have just flopped it.
The lies are such that the ball sits so tight and almost cupped, like in a little hole, if you will, that you can't get the leading edge underneath it.テつ I should have flopped it, but I thought the ground was firm enough where it would come out okay.

Q.テつ Before last year's U.S. Open you were asked about how it felt being paired with Tiger, does he bring out the best in your game?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ After today it's hard to think any differently.

Q.テつ FedExCup, do they have it right now or do they need more tweaks?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ You know, I've stayed out of the details of it.テつ And it seems like it's pretty good, I think.テつ Over time you kind of work out the kinks.テつ And they haven't had any changes the last couple of years, so I think it's kind of where everybody likes it.

Q.テつ How much golf did you play between Sunday and yesterday and did Amanda start high school, so were you able to take her to high school her first couple of days?
PHIL MICKELSON:テつ I was able to take her.テつ It's a big change to see how quickly it's gone and for her to be starting high school and in four years off to college.テつ I was glad that I was able to be home for that.
I was able to practice each day.テつ I spent time in my yard getting iron play and putting and so forth.テつ I didn't want to take any days off, because we were starting up again so soon that I practiced every day, yeah.
DOUG MILNE:テつ Phil, thanks for your time.

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