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FEDEX ST. JUDE CLASSIC


June 4, 2014


Phil Mickelson


MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Q. How did your round feel out there today?
PHIL MICKELSON: It felt good. We had some nice weather. I remember playing here last year we had some nice weather, wasn't too hot. The same way today.
The golf course is in great shape. We're all looking forward to a good tournament. I need to get four good rounds and get a little bit of momentum for next week. I've got to get off to a good start tomorrow.

Q. Phil, specifically what do you need to see from your game and your shot-making that will give you some confidence going into next week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I need to finish off the round. I feel like I'm hitting shots, I feel like I'm hitting good iron shots. I feel pretty good with the putter and I've got to finish the rounds off and shoot a number.
I don't feel like the parts are off but the score has been off and so I've got to just stay sharp, salvage shots, fire through each round and see if I can finish strong.
Last week I finished a lot of the rounds very poorly and I've got to get some momentum for next week and the best way to do that is to shoot low numbers.

Q. How is the course setting up for you? Is there a chance to shoot low?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think there is. What's great about this golf course is if you play well you have a chance to make some birdies but if you don't, you're going to be looking at some higher scores. You know, there's some penalties out there.
But, I love this golf course as a preparation for next week. I feel like the areas around the greens, which are critical next week at Pinehurst, are very similar here.
You have the low cut bermuda grass with the grain cut into you. Delicate, tough little chip shots that we got to work on. It's a wonderful place to get ready for next week. I'm really glad I'm here.

Q. What's special about Memphis? I know you only played here a handful of times. What's special about this place?
PHIL MICKELSON: I got a really good insight today with some of the guys that have been involved with this tournament for a long time and the community support and the love of the community between the people, between Fed Ex and many of the sponsors here and the people involved. There's a real emotional tie I think that comes across in the quality of the tournament.

Q. You finished 2nd up here last year. Does it give you momentum?
PHIL MICKELSON: Certainly giving me momentum finishing 2nd and coming close. I think it greatly lifted my chances for last year's U.S. Open. I'm hoping to do the same.

Q. Have you been able to focus on your golf game the last couple of weeks --
PHIL MICKELSON: Certainly last few days I had. I had two great days up at Pinehurst. I got some good work in with Dave Pelz and a really good game plan on how I want to attack the golf course and the shots around the greens that I want to hit and I had a chance to work on my touch and I'm hopeful that that will come through in my performance this week as well.

Q. The Director, Phil Cannon, is fighting a battle with cancer. What are your thoughts?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's never -- you never want to have to go to a place like St. Jude's or like M.D. Anderson but if you have to, you're so thankful that you have professionals and specialists that have spent their lives studying how to cure this disease, and I'm sorry that Mr. Cannon has got to go through, but I'm very hopeful that the knowledge and the expertise that St. Jude's and M.D. Anderson have developed over the years will be to his benefit.

Q. How much do you worry about your image, especially at this point in your career?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, right now I'm just trying to win a U.S. Open. Right now I'm just trying to get my game ready to finish off that Grand Slam and I've got 7 to 10 days here to really get my game sharp and ready. That's all I can worry about for now.

Q. Where did you want to be at this point and where do you think are you mentally and physically going into this tournament that you can look forward to for nearly a year now?
PHIL MICKELSON: I would like to have had better performances this year. But, I've been able to be physically healthy and strong and be able to swing the club the way I want to swing it, hit the shots I want to hit and now the last piece is being able to mentally block out the past performances of the last few months and focus on some good ones.
I've got to mentally rehearse and use visualization techniques and see the shots I want to hit and not let bad thoughts creep.

Q. Phil, does the legal situation bother you at all or do you think about it?
PHIL MICKELSON: I can't really go into it right now but hopefully soon.

Q. You said a couple weeks ago you were soft. Do you feel like you are?
PHIL MICKELSON: If I can get in contention and have a good opportunity going into this weekend, I think it would really help my odds and my chances next week.

Q. What are your thoughts on the renovations that you saw?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore are the best as what they do. The redesign at Pinehurst was sensational, I think incorporating the native areas was just so well done.
It is an extremely long golf course. I was shocked at how many tees were moved back and how far they moved them back and hitting 4, 5 and 6 irons exclusively into those greens became very, very difficult to the point where not many people are going to hit greens. Certainly I had a hard time hitting it on the surface.
But, I liked it because the short game becomes a factor. I feel like if we all miss every green, I feel like I've got the best chance.

Q. How do you use Pro-Am, especially this Pro-Am day, especially when you were in North Carolina the last couple days and for the fans and the amateurs playing with you more than anything else?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's a great chance to see the golf course and see how it's playing. I got to play with four really good guys. I heard some great stories and had a lot of fun and if I need to hit an extra shot or two I might have to play an extra shot. I'll call it a provisional, but I don't want to go out tomorrow on a tee shot that I don't feel comfortable on that I haven't hit a good shot on.
If I have to throw an extra ball down or what have you, I may do that. I had to do that once or twice today, especially that 18th hole. You don't want to tee up on that 18th hole, that tough tee shot having not hit one in the fairway already.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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