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April 9, 2015

Phil Mickelson


Q.  That one looked a little better than the number?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I hit the ball really well today.  I didn't really get anything going on the greens.  I hit the ball good.  It was a good way to start the tournament.  I feel good with the way the game is, and if I could just over the course of the next three days get hot with putter a time or two, I should be able to make a run.

Q.  Phil, was there as much speed on the greens and the course as you expected?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, we've had rain, so we've kind of expected it would be soft.  Certainly it's the softest I've ever seen the greens, and that allowed us to get to a lot of the pins.
A lot of the tough, tough pins we saw today you could still get to because the ball would stick and you could get it to stop right away.

Q.  How much did you take out of the last tournaments coming into this week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I took some good momentum the last few tournaments coming in here to get a little bit of confidence.  I started making a lot more birdies, which was nice.
Coming here you don't have to be perfect, you can make some mistakes, and still get away with pars.  You want to play aggressively because it gets rewarded.
I had a couple of good runs today with birdies.  I need to get hotter with the putter the next few days, but it was a good start.

Q.  What was your club at 8 and how blind is that to you from where you were?
A.It was a 3‑wood.  It was 278 to the hole or playing 278 with the uphill.  And I was just trying to get it past pin‑high because short of pin‑high you don't have much of an angle to get to that back right pin.  That pin has always given me problems.  I just took a little extra club and hit a high cut.  I can't believe it ended up where it did.  I have a hard time getting on that shelf with a wedge, and got there with a 3‑wood.  That was a bonus shot.  I was trying to get it somewhere on the back part of the green to make birdie.

Q.  Is your game to the point where you could make up for not making a few putts by hitting it closer, attacking some pins and doing it that way as opposed to having to‑‑
PHIL MICKELSON:  If I continue to hit the ball like this I'll have a number of opportunities.  But eventually you have to get hot on the greens.  And over 72 holes you're going to have your ups and downs on the greens.  It's not far off.  I didn't let any ones go that you need to make.  But I didn't get the 12‑ to 15‑footers that you need to get some momentum going.  And those are the ones I'll work on.

Q.  What's going on in your game when you come on the grounds, what's going through your body from a confidence standpoint?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I relax a little bit because I don't have to be as perfect.  I can get away with a few errant shots and still salvage pars, knowing that it's tough to really pull away from the field on this golf course now because there's so many holes that have become tougher pars as opposed to birdie holes in the past.
It's very difficult to go shoot a really low score, and that means that par on any hole is not a bad score, and I feel like I can get away with a couple of loose ones and rely on my short game.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON:  I pulled a 7‑iron, I was trying to hit a 7‑iron in the center of the green and just pulled it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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