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June 5, 2015

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Are you going to talk about the national and the local media?
PHIL MICKELSON:  The national and the local media?  What do you mean?

Q.  I'm just asking.
You had some struggles here before, so it must feel good?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I really like the golf course.  I know that I've had troubles in the past.  I'm trying to figure out some ways to play some holes that have given me trouble in the past.  I was sloppy the first 27 holes and I played a good back nine.  I think that if I can continue to get better each day, that's kind of the goal.
After I take a couple of weeks off, I'm usually not that sharp the first week and I play a little bit better the second and third.  So hopefully this weekend I'll improve on each round.

Q.  Are you more excited about this run after taking time at Chambers Bay and getting a feel for it?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I don't understand.

Q.  Well, this run now, this week, next week and obviously the U.S. Open.  A lot of people have talked in different ways about Chambers Bay.  You've been there now.  You've got an experience of it, you understand it better.  Are you more excited and more anticipatory about it or less?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think‑‑ I really like it.  I think it's wonderful.  The first time you play it, it's like St. Andrews.  You don't know where to go.  You don't know what mounds do what to do the ball.
And the first time I played St. Andrews, I'm like, I don't know if I get it.  Then the more you play it, the more you like it and you appreciate it, you understand where the balls are going to go and what type of shot is the highest percentage shot and how to get to certain pins and so forth.
I think‑‑ I look at Chambers Bay as a modern day links golf course that's up to scale, to scale on today's distance and so forth.  A lot of 500‑plus‑yard par‑4s.  They don't play that long because it's fescue and the ball runs.  It's kind of like Castle Stuart, kind of a modern day, plenty‑of‑room links golf course, up‑to‑scale on modern day technology.
So I enjoyed it.  The first time you play it, though, you don't know where it's going to go.  You hit one place and it ends up over here.  Then you realize where you're supposed to try to hit it and how to get to certain pins.  And then all of a sudden, it makes sense.  It's a fun course to play and you have a variety of shots that you get to play.
But the first time you play it, you don't know.  And so I can see why the first impression isn't as favorable for some.  But I think the more you play it, the more you like it.

Q.  Why do you think it's been somewhat controversial?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Because historically it's snug like a normal U.S. Open.  It's everything like a British Open.  The exact same grasses.  I've never seen this type of fescue in the United States.  I've never seen greens with fescue grass in the United States.  It plays exactly like the British Open plays.  The ball runs like the British, you're hitting the same shots as the British, and so it's like a British Open in the U.S.

Q.  What is your mindset going into the weekend here?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I'm going to try to improve on each round.  I improved four shots from yesterday.  So I felt like if I started too low, I couldn't do that (laughter).
If I can just get better every day, that will be a good thing.  Because after a couple of weeks off, I'm never quite sharp.  I'm never quite focused.  I make some sloppy errors.  And today was a little bit better, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be even sharper.

Q.  Some of the guys are saying the course is pretty receptive playing and easier than they've seen in a while.  How do you find it?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, I didn't find it that easy.  Sure, if you ask the leaders that's what they're going to say.  They're 12‑under.  The greens are quick and around the greens the rough is thick, so it can be challenging.  But there are a lot of birdies out there.  The greens do hold and you can attack the pins.

Q.  Dufner had a stretch where he went birdie, eagle, eagle.  Have you ever had consecutive eagles, including a hole‑in‑one?
PHIL MICKELSON:  You know, he did it in a regular event, I did it in a major, the Masters, 13, 14, 2010.

Q.  No hole‑in‑one, though?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Now we're nitpicking.

Q.  Do you like the way your game is coming around?  You had a pretty good run at Quail Hollow?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I do, yeah.  I'm very optimistic in how‑‑ in the areas of my game.  You've got to put it together.  You've got to shoot a number.  But from the way I played the Masters and then at Quail Hollow, I knew I'd be a little rusty this week, but I think I'm going to have a good weekend.  I feel like my game feels pretty good.

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