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January 22, 2015

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Just describe your round for us.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I got off to a pretty good start.  I was 3‑under and then I just stalled.  But I am excited about the year, I'm excited about playing, and even though this score is the worst score I've had in a long time, in months, I'm excited about my game and getting back out tomorrow.  I can't wait to get started again, because I just feel like I played a little tight today, kind of steered it a little bit.  I'll loosen up.  It was the first round in four months and I'll loosen up and hopefully the way I'm playing will show in the score.  But today just didn't.

Q.  You burned the edges on a lot of long putts and inside 10 feet with the claw struggled a little bit on the back nine.  Is that something you're going to stick with?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I spent some time in the off season doing a lot of data and work with Pelz on finding out what the most effective way is and from inside six, eight feet, I'll most likely stick with it.  I made a significantly higher percentage of short putts with it.  And I made a significantly lower percentage outside of 10, 12 feet with it.  So, I'll switch back and forth probably throughout the year.

Q.  You mentioned about the excitement to start the season, you slipped down, you've been working a lot with Butch in the off season, how excited are you to get going in 2015 as a whole?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I was really amped up I've been amped up the last three days that I've been here in Palm Springs getting ready and I just couldn't wait to start I came out, got off to a pretty good start, but I've been very excited to start the year.  It's been months in looking forward to it and we had a beautiful day to do it.
Unfortunately, I didn't shoot the number I wanted, but it's the first round of a long year and I know where my game is at the score just didn't reflect it but hopefully the next few days it will.

Q.  You just referenced how excited you are about the year.  What have you been doing in the off season and how much weight did you lose?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I had a great off season.  And really had a lot of fun being home, being with the kids and also being dedicated every morning to getting up and trying to get in shape, because last year I started the year hurt, I wasn't able to swing the club the way I wanted to, as fast as I wanted to, and it affected overall the entire rest of the year was not good and I wanted to start this year strong and ready to play.  My body hasn't felt this good in years and I have not been able to swing the club this fast in years and I'm excited about the, about what's going to take this year.

Q.  How much did last year weigh on you, what you maybe didn't accomplish?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think that it was a good platform to be motivated, to get motivated from it.  Just like in 2003 I had a terrible year in 2003 and I came back in 2004 with one of my best years of the that's really the mindset that I wanted to have heading into this year and to make it something special.  I had to put myself in position to do that in the off season.  I feel like I have.
One round won't reflect that, but I think that I don't know when it's going to all come together, but it's, I feel like it's there.  I feel like the parts of my game are better than they have been in years and I just need to get it together to so the score will reflect it.  But I got a good feeling about the next few days.

Q.  Phil in 2003 you had the hunger to win that first Major still.  So that was obviously motivation.  What motivates you now?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well it's still the Majors are the biggest motivator for me.  I would love to add to my Masters total, I would love to add, to get a U.S. Open and this year especially with the British Open being at St. Andrews, I think that would be such a great feeling to win at the home of golf.  I think that everybody that has won there says it's the epitome of what they want to accomplish.  Then another PGA Championship for adding to the Major total would be really a good goal.  So, those are the things that are motivating me to work hard.

Q.  Your round today highlighted by that hole out on 4 can you go through that with us.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I spun it back just pulled it and spun it into the bunker and had a one of those bunker shots where you're looking almost eye level at the green, like Paul Azinger made at Memorial on the last hole where you feel like if you can get it on line, it will roll like a putt.  I hit a good bunker shot and it had a chance and went in.  It was a good feeling.

Q.  We haven't seen you since the Ryder Cup and there's been a lot of fall out since then, what's your reaction of what's all transpired?  You're part of that task force now, I guess.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, I'm more about looking forward and trying to move forward from it and to really make the next 10, 20 years, 10 Ryder Cups, make those the best we can.  We have some really smart guys with a lot of great input in the first meeting and we have another one soon, too, that I think will get us on the right track with a good game plan, with a good continuity from year to year and I think that I'm excited.  Who knows if it will bring the results we want or not, but there's a lot of good, smart people in there and we're moving forward trying to make this work.  That's exciting, I think.

Q.  Seems like you're happy then with the direction that it's moving in at least?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think it's great.  It's the first time that players have been really involved in the decision making process from the start.  I think it's going to be very impactful in the overall experience.

Q.  Do you think that the significant changes that you wanted to see made would have happened if you had spoken privately instead of publicly?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I don't really want to go into the details of it.  Because that conversation wasn't the first time I've had that conversation.  I'm just excited that we're at where we are now.  That we're moving forward and we're actually bringing some great people together with a lot of great insight and input, great perspective over the years, guys that have been on a number of teams, guys that have been on winning teams in the past with past captains like Ray Floyd and that.  I just think there's a lot of great input I'm excited about what we're doing moving forward.  How we got there, doesn't matter.  We're there now and we're going to make it a really great experience for the next generation of players as they go through the next decade or two.

Q.  What do you need to do better this year?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, last year I was not good in a lot of areas, my putting fell off, my iron play was the worst it's been, that's the strength of my game that was terrible.  And I drove the ball short and crooked.  So I had a lot to improve on.  I'm really excited about this year because again, I feel like my speed is back, I feel like my accuracy is back, my irons are back.  But I'm a little, I got to be careful because I get overly excited and I start to force things and I don't let the round kind of come to me and I don't get patient.  That's the challenge for me, to put it all together for a score.

Q.  Torrey North's delay, it looks like another year of delay.  Are you disappointed by that you've been so excited about it?
PHIL MICKELSON:  We're working on it.  I know that the city's working hard to try to get this thing going.  I know the bidding process was a bit of a challenge, but or didn't go the way everybody expected, but I think that I know they're working hard to get to make this happen and hopefully it will be sooner than it looks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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