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April 11, 2015

Phil Mickelson


Q.  It's got to be one of your best 54 hole starts at the Masters ever, I think.  205.  That equals what you did in 2010.  How do you feel about that and the way you were playing?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's been a fun three days so far.  It was really a fun day today.  To be third from last group, perfect weather at Augusta National and the Masters, to be playing well ‑‑ and the golf course could not have been any better.  It was just perfect today.
You hit well struck shots, you have opportunities for birdies.  If you don't, you get penalized.  We saw a lot of birdies, a lot of bogeys today.  Just so fun as a professional golfer to be playing here under these scenarios, this scenario and playing well.

Q.  (No microphone.)
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, because I didn't know how to answer, I didn't know how he finish.

Q.  Do you think your presence is going to put heat on Jordan tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I don't think it matters who is close to him.  I think he's playing very good golf and I think he'll have a good round tomorrow.  I think that if he were to come out on top, it would be great to have him in the Champion's Dinner every year.  He would just be a great champion.
He's just a classy guy.  He just represents the game very well and at a very young age and he's just got a lot of game.  So if he were to come out on top, it would be wonderful for the Tournament, wonderful for the game.  I'm going to try to stop him, but we'll see how it goes.

Q.  Can you win this thing?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I don't need ‑‑ I'm not going to try to convince anybody.  I'm going to go have fun tomorrow.

Q.  You said that your nerves and your short game would be the key.  Do you feel good yourself going into tomorrow in those regards?
PHIL MICKELSON:  My short game has gotten really sharp over the last week or so.  It's gotten better and better as the week's gone on.  And I'm hitting it all right.
So, making some birdies and having fun and tomorrow's the final round at the Masters.  It's been what I've been looking forward to, thinking of, and dreaming of when I was getting up at 5:30 in the off‑season working out, trying to get some speed, trying to be in contention in this tournament.  So here we are six months later and it's going to be a fun day tomorrow.

Q.  What number, if any, did you have in mind today?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I didn't.  I just knew that the front nine when I looked at the pin sheet was susceptible.  The back nine pins were extremely difficult and I felt like there weren't a lots of birdie pins on the back, other than the par‑5s, even those weren't eagle pins, they were just tough.
The front was where you needed to do your work.  So I was fortunate, because I got off to a good start and it was difficult for guys ‑‑ although Justin played phenomenal‑‑ I mean, it's out there, but in general it was more difficult on the back nine.

Q.  16, what did you see?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Crazy.  I mean, it's crazy to make that putt.  I'm just trying to 2‑putt it.  But I hit it all the time in practice, because it's such a ‑‑ first of all, it's a spot you want to be, if you miss the small section by the hole.  It's slow up to the hole, it's fast past the hole.  So it's a difficult 2‑putt.  I had perfect speed and it just kind of floated in the side door.
I remember in 1991 watching Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson both hit that putt, both made it, and I remember being up in the clubhouse feeling the ground reverberate from the roar.  So it's makeable, but it's not an easy one.

Q.  We ask you every year, what is it about this place for you?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, I just love it.  It's what I dreamt about as a kid, it's what motivated me in the off‑season four or five days a week to get up at 5:30 and work out, dreaming of this, giving myself an opportunity in this tournament.
Granted, I've got a lot of work to do tomorrow and I'm quite a ways back, a good round though and it could be fun.

Q.  Were you hoping to be in that final group?  Does it matter to you?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Not if I'm being honest, no.  I think in 2011 when I was in the final group watching Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson in front of me make birdies, it was a lot harder to follow suit.  And I was hoping to be the group in front and if I can start posting some birdies, I think it's much more difficult to follow than it is to lead.

Q.  The way the course played today, do you still think you have the time to use your experience, because the other day you said before it may be a lot firmer.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I thought today was perfect because it couldn't have been a better setup for players to advance, if you play well, and move up the leaderboard.  And also, to penalize those who weren't playing great.
It couldn't have been any better.  I hope it's exactly like it was today, because it was ‑‑ it's one of the best I've seen.

Q.  Can you feel the crowd's energy?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Oh, sure.  Everybody out there can.  I can also hear it for the other guys, too.  So, it can be, work for you and it can work against you.

Q.  So you don't feel it's a special thing for you that all these years they have really kind of adopted you?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's special to me.  It really is.  It's special to me because this place means so much to me.  Because this championship and Tournament mean so much to me.  So the way the people have treated me just adds to it.

Q.  You said you didn't have a number today.  Do you have one for tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON:  No, it's hard ‑‑ I won't know until I see the pins, until I see the weather, until I see the conditions.

Q.  (No Microphone.)
PHIL MICKELSON:  Willing.  I was happy to do it.  I think that I'm, first of all, proud to represent KPMG and I'm proud for what they're doing for women's golf.  They're running one of the premier Major Championships in women's golf.  I think it's the second highest purse on the LPGA Tour.  They're doing it right.  They're getting together strong women leaders in business to help others.  I just, I'm proud to be a part of that.

Q.  Brothers and sisters and mothers and wives, I guess, for you, good, good important issue?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, I just ‑‑ yeah, I just think that it's a great, it's a great thing to promote women in business.  When you have two daughters, it's even more important.

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