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August 7, 2014

Phil Mickelson


Q.  What pleased you the most with your round?
PHIL MICKELSON:  You know, I was saying that I felt so good heading in this tournament, I had a great final round last week Sunday, but I also had three great practice days.  My game felt really sharp.
I stood on the first tee for the first time this year like I was ready to play, ready to compete, and try to win a championship.  I hit the ugliest shot off the first hole.  I mean, it was so far left I don't even know what to say.  I was lucky it wasn't out of bounds.  Horrific.
I did the same thing on the next hole and played the first eight holes 2‑over par.¬† Yet I knew that it was there.¬† I knew my game was still there.¬† I wasn't worried.¬† I had to make some confident swings.¬† I hit some good solid shots, played the last ten holes well in 4‑under.
I just need to get on the first tee with more confidence.  When you are not in contention, when you haven't won a tournament, when you haven't played the way you expect to and you are not in the final groups for a while, you get nervous and that is exactly what happened.  I just made some unconfident swings.
I need to make confident, aggressive swings from the first hole, first shot, from here on forward because I can't afford to play like I did those first eight holes.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
PHIL MICKELSON:  A lot of it is there.  A lot of it.  But my game finally has kind of come together, and the confidence just needs to slowly coming with it.  It's still on low because of the way I've played this year.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
PHIL MICKELSON:  They were great.  They were great.  We've had such great experiences here at Valhalla with the people here in Louisville because of the '96 and 2000 PGA.  The '08 Ryder Cup was exceptional.  To share one of the most emotional victories for me, for the U.S. side and to share it with these people here, they are tremendous.  They were great today.
We don't get paired a lot together.  Tiger and I enjoy that opportunity.  We are usually opposite end of the spectrums.  To be able to play together, I appreciate that the PGA did that.  That's cool.

Q.  What did you think of the way he played?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I thought he played with a lot of heart.  It's not easy when your game isn't where you want it and you're hitting shots that you don't be normally hit to fight hard.
I thought the second hole was a great example, when he hooked it into the water and a lot of guys would just not play as focused, not put it all in the next shot.¬† He grinded out a bogey.¬† He made a great up‑and‑down, made a 15‑footer for bogey.¬† I just thought it showed a lot of heart.

Q.  The people here were following you around.  Does that raise your game up a little more?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think it helps.  I mean, it certainly tramples down more rough.  That's my view of it.  They were terrific today.  We had a great day.

Q.  To be in this position at the end of a round, is that a good place to be?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Given the first eight holes, it was a good start.  I thought I was ready to let lose.  I thought I had a mid to low 60s round in me.  I thought I was going to light it up.  Then I came out and played the way I did the first eight holes.
I'm appreciative that I was able to get settled in, hit some good shots, make some good birdies and get myself in position where the first round didn't cost me where I'm playing huge catch up.
I go out tomorrow and shoot the round that I feel is coming then I'm right in position to move up the leaderboard rather than just trying to get back in position.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's been a little while.  Last year I felt it a number of times.  It's been a while since I felt like my game was to this point.

Q.  Where does your Ryder Cup situation fit into your thought process this week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's not right now.  I finally believe that my game is to where I have been trying to get it.  Now that it's there, granted I only have one tournament, but I think I will get it done this week.

Q.  How big was the recovery shot on 10?
PHIL MICKELSON:  On the 10th?  I just had to go over the trees.  There wasn't a window, but I had to just go really high.

Q.  Did you expect the conditions to change from the beginning of this round to now?
PHIL MICKELSON:  No, they were the same.  I just didn't shoot the number I was expecting starting out.

Q.  Going into tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Going into tomorrow, I expect to play with a little bit more assertiveness and confidence from the first hole on, from the first swing on and not have that tentative uncommitted golf swing that I made the first swing of the day and many throughout the first eight holes.  If that it was case, I believe I have some low rounds in me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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