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July 18, 2014

Phil Mickelson


Q. How big was that first par save?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a crazy par save, wasn't it? You know, I played really well today, but there were a couple of loose shots. The drive on 10, the missed putt on 7 ended up costing me another one on 8. And I ended up giving four or five shots away, but I played really well. Shot 2-under. There was like a mental barrier to get it back to even par, so that putt on 18 was big.

Q. You missed a short one at 17. Is that what you mean by "moving on"?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it was a terrible putt. I came up and out of it. I hit such a great shot into that pin. I had to hook a 5-iron into a direct slice wind, and ran it up there four feet, and to hit that terrible putt.

Q. How did it affect you on the next hole?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I wasn't patient. I tried to get that shot a little bit close. And what happens is I drew that 8-iron with the wind, and when it's going downwind, it just doesn't stop. So I had to work it back into the middle of the green. I should have hit it 30 feet. I thought I'm going to try to get one close. Hit it over the green, hit a poor chip and make bogey. The back nine, though, I actually played pretty good. I putted very good. I hit a lot of good shots.

Q. The shot on 10, what club?
PHIL MICKELSON: Lost ball, played the provisional in the fairway, hit a 2-iron 6 feet and made it for par.

Q. Did you have 213, 217?

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Birdie, eagle, make a good par and make a birdie. I'm under par for the tournament. I've got a hot round going. And, you know, it's just little things like that that can change the momentum of the round. And fortunately I was able to fight hard and get it back on the back nine, because I was 1-over par and then hit one out of bounds, essentially. So to get it back to even is good. And hopefully the weather is supposed to come in tomorrow; it will be tough for all of us.

Q. Do you feel like you're still in the tournament?
PHIL MICKELSON: If the wind stays up, absolutely I am. But I have a feeling that the conditions are supposed to get softer this afternoon. And if that's the case, I'll be quite a ways back. But tomorrow when the conditions come in, there's going to be a lot of scores that go 5, 6, 7-over par. If I can shoot something under par, I'll be right in it for Sunday.

Q. What was the wind like today compared to yesterday?
PHIL MICKELSON: Similar. I thought it was very similar. Slightly different direction, but it really -- I didn't think it was much different. Slightly stronger, but not much.

Q. Did 16 play differently?
PHIL MICKELSON: 16, yeah, different angles into the wind.

Q. At any point were you worried that you were not going to make the cut?
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't think about the cut much, no.

Q. Did you hit anyone in the crowd with that tee shot on 4?
PHIL MICKELSON: It didn't. And I ended up getting a very lucky break, because I was in a hard rock-down area and I was able to get some spin. There were some really bad spots over there, and I was lucky not to find them.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: You can't hear it, anyways. You can't hear it 20 yards up the fairway. The wind is in your ear, it doesn't make a bit of different. You point and try to get people aware, but you can't hear that far up with the wind.

Q. With Ernie, when you were done, you were talking and he was saying something. It seemed like two guys through a pretty difficult day today and you survived and he didn't.
PHIL MICKELSON: We've been friends for decades now, and we were saying, let's get this thing going. We hit a lot of good shots. And our games -- we're not getting out of it what we want, but they're not far off.

Q. Did you see how he was affected yesterday?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, he told me even before that thing happened. He said I hit him in the mouth. And he was like shook up. And I tried to say, look, you can't worry about that. I do that all the time (laughter). But that didn't -- it didn't help, I guess.

Q. How about your confidence for going into the weekend? Sounds like you're as close -- almost as where you want to be, right?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's really close. Yeah, it's really close to being good. I'm striking it so good. And if I putt the way I putted the last nine holes for the weekend, I'm going to have a good chance.

Q. Is it easier to write yourself off now that you've won this event?

Q. How has that manifested itself?
PHIL MICKELSON: It takes pressure off. You don't feel the pressure of trying to force a win. And you also -- I'm more accepting of the fact that I'm on the poor end of the tee times. And I've also been on the good end of the tee times. And you accept that as part of the tournament. And rather than let that get to you -- the tendency is this, I see the scores, 7- , 8-under par is probably going to be leading or so. And I have to force birdies. But the conditions I had didn't allow for it. And I have to play as well as I can with the conditions that I'm in. If even par is the best I can do, that's all I can do. Now I might be seven or eight back, but I can't control that. If I try to force it, I'm missing the cut.

Q. That stretch of 11 through 14 today, did it actually play more difficult downwind?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, well, there's a lot more luck involved in getting the ball close as opposed to if you hit a precise shot, like No. 9, the par 3, where it's into the wind, yeah, it's 200 yards and I'm trying to cut a 5-iron back into the wind, but if I hit it right I'm going to be 15, 18 feet like I was. I can hit a great shot downwind and the ball could simply go into some bad spots. So it's much more difficult to control it. So, therefore, I think it's harder to make birdies, but it's easier to make pars.

Q. You didn't make any adjustments on the back nine, did you, because you said you played better?
PHIL MICKELSON: Slight adjustment, yeah. I just tried to extend more to the target. I felt like I was kind of quitting on it, and I seemed to get them on line and had a couple of really good rolls. I thought I made the putt on 17. I thought I made the putt on 11. And had some good chances on the other ones.

Q. Coming out of this, does that make you feel even better knowing that you probably figured something out?
PHIL MICKELSON: Possibly. I have some direction. I don't want to quit on it. I want to keep extending. And by doing that, I was able to hit a lot of good putts. And then finally made one on 18.

Q. Can you see guys get in the way -- do you have any plans for changing your schedule (inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I hadn't thought about that.

Q. PGA and then four in a row?
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't thought about it yet, I don't know. I'm definitely going to play Akron, I'm definitely going to play the PGA. I was planning on playing -- I guess I'll wait to see how I feel, but I was planning on playing them. It is tough four in a row. But right now that's not really -- I don't have to worry about it, unless I play over there.
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