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PGA CHAMPIONSHIP


August 8, 2014


Phil Mickelson


LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

PHIL MICKELSON:¬† It was a long day, but for me it was a good day.¬† I fought hard, I didn't get off to the greatest start, was patient with the round.¬† It came to me a little bit there in the middle.¬† To shoot 4‑under puts me in good position for the weekend.
Obviously Rory is playing great golf.¬† There's a lot of guys at 4, 5, 6, 7‑under par right there.¬† Out of that group somebody is going to get hot.¬† I think that I have a hot round in me, too.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's a great way to finish.  I was hoping to at least make birdie there and get to 5, get to within four shots.  That eagle was a bonus.  After a long day, it was a really nice way to finish.

Q.  Talked about a couple of weeks ago how you weren't making those long putts.  Today at least two of them went in.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Those are big momentum putts, especially the one on 16 where it's for par after I just made bogey, hit a poor chip shot and having that putt go in was a big momentum boost for me and it got me to play the last two holes hard.  I fought hard to make par on 17 and ended up finishing with an eagle, as opposed to letting the round slide and not really making a strong finish.
Those par puts are critical.  I started to make a lot of putts last week.  The putter start to feel good again.  I had a great practice round where I putted really well.  It feels good.  It feels like I'm rolling the ball well again.  A lot of them have gone in, a lot of them have gone in today.

Q.  How were the conditions overall?
PHIL MICKELSON:¬† It was great.¬† I mean, it was great.¬† Because it's soft, they are going to be a lot of birdies.¬† Yet the golf course still has a lot of bogeys and big numbers in it because it's a challenging test if you mis‑hit it.
I think that it allows for good separation between the guys that are playing well and guys that aren't.  Because it was soft, it was playing much easier than it would otherwise.

Q.  What is your take on Tiger struggling with his back?
 PHIL MICKELSON:  I didn't really notice that.  I just noticed that really on the greens the ball wasn't going in the hole.  Some key momentum putts, like on 3 and on 4, that birdie on 3 could have really got his round started.  It ended up lipping out.
And then to bogey 4, just takes a lot of your energy away.  Had those putts gone it, it could have been a whole different day.  He hit it a lot better today than he did yesterday.  I didn't notice him hurting, but it's never fun when the ball is not going in the hole.

Q.  If tomorrow starts to dry out, and you start seeing mud balls, would you be in favor of lift, clean and place?
 PHIL MICKELSON:   Actually, we had mud balls today,  and the mud didn't affect it.  The mud came off at impact.
I noticed that I had a putt on the third hole where I had mud on it from off the fringe, even with a putt most of it came off.
I had a wedge shot on 7 where I had a ton of mud and thought about playing a little bit of movement and it just didn't affect it.  At impact the sandy mud came right off of it.  I think because there's so much of a sand base that it may not be an issue.

Q.  How does it feel to see things click and be in the mix for the weekend?
 PHIL MICKELSON:  It's fun to be back in it, to have a chance, to feel like my game is there and to not show up at the golf course hoping that I find something to work with.  That's been a challenge.
But right now I feel like when I show up I know what I'm trying to do, I'm just picking up the touch and feel and I'm fairly confident starting the round.  Been a good first two rounds so far.

Q.  I know you said you don't know when was the last time you felt this way.  Coming in where you are right now, is there any question about your game?
¬†PHIL MICKELSON:¬† You know, it's not‑‑ I'm not here to compare.¬† That's what the tournaments are for to see how we stack up.¬† I feel like my game is pretty close to where I like it.¬† I'm pretty sharp in the areas.¬† I feel like I'm going to have a good round tomorrow and hopefully get it in.¬† We'll see what everybody else does.¬† I don't know what they'll do.¬† We'll see.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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