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June 8, 2014

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Thank you.  Phil Mickelson, you talked before the week about a couple things you needed to see.  You wanted to see some focus going into Pinehurst, some shot making and you wanted to see the ability to finish a round.
How did your scorecard play out this week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, this was a pretty good week for me in that I played fairly solidly throughout the four days and had an opportunity -- if I had had -- the way I drove the ball last two rounds I had an opportunity to shoot really low.  My iron play was poor and my putting was pathetic.
I'll have to make some changes and to get ready for next week but the game is not far off because I'm driving the ball very well and putting it in play.
But, my iron game is going to have to get a little bit tighter.  My short game, I didn't have to use too much because I hit a lot of greens.  I'll have to work on that and then I've got to have good putting.  It will come down to that.

Q.  After the win at Muirfield, everyone has been pointing to this week for you, the ability to finish off the career Grand Slam.
What is your anticipation now that this week is here?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I'm excited.  I love the golf course.  I think that from what I saw, it was probably the longest golf course I've seen or at least it felt that way because the greens are so repellent, and I was hitting 4, 5, 6 irons into every hole which is awesome because I want -- ideally we would never hit a green.
If nobody hit a green I feel like my chances are the best.  As long as that golf course is playing long and as difficult as those greens are to hit, short game is going to be a huge factor.  If I can salvage par, get up and down, I should have a good chance.

Q.  You fell pretty good?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I had a really good opportunity this final round because I drove the ball well and had opportunities to make some birdies and make a run and I -- unfortunately, my iron play was not very good this final round but I got a lot of good things that came from this week.
I started to drive the ball much better, especially the last two days.  I realized that I've got to spend a little time on the putting green.  I need to putt a lot better than I did this week and I've got a few things on my irons to work on but, for the most part, pretty solid four days.
After that run on 11 and 12 I thought I might make a little move and, unfortunately, I followed it with a couple of bogies.  But I had a great week here.  I really enjoyed my time here.

Q.  Put you in the right frame of mind for next week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It shows me what I need to work on.  It shows me where my game is at.  It's an improvement.  I played last week, I got better this week.  I feel like it's improving and I have a couple of days now to get ready and I'm excited about next week.

Q.  It this place long when you get all this rain?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yes.  The softer the conditions made the golf course played a lot easier.  Birdies were more prominent.  I didn't hit the ball close enough.  I don't think anybody has had a bad word to say about this golf course.  It was a wonderful course.  It's in great shape and set-up beautifully and I think we all enjoyed playing here.

Q.  How excited are you about the opportunity at Pinehurst?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I'm excited about next week.  It's a place that has a lot of memories for me, lot of great memories for me even though I didn't win there, but I'm excited about the prospect of a U.S. Open that has short game as such an important element.
With no rough around the greens, repellent greens, touch and chipping and the ability to salvage par is going to be critical.  That is my strength and that's why I'm excited.

Q.  You took pretty aggressive lines on 3 and 14.  What did you hit there?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I had a 4-iron into 3 and 7-iron into 14 and pulled it.  I missed a lot to the right.  Unfortunately on those holes water was to the right.  It was a problem.
I felt if I made a run and made some birdies, shot 4, 5, 6-under par that last day I thought I would have a good chance and it turned out I would.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do it.

Q.  How does playing this tournament benefit St. Jude's Research Hospital, is that important to you?
PHIL MICKELSON:  You always hope that you never have to go to a place like St. Jude but if you do, you are so thankful that you have doctors and specialists that do this and set their entire life, that's their vocation because they save so many lives.  It's a wonderful place to be able to go if you need to.

Q.  You have a personal perspective on that, don't you?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I kind of do.  It's cool that so many -- to see so many of the kids out here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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