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June 11, 2015

Phil Mickelson


Q.  So, up and down for you today?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Not really, no.  Pretty steady round.  I shot 2-under.  I bogeyed the two par-3s on the front.  I played pretty well throughout the day and was a nice solid start.

Q.  For you, were you expected -- I know you always want to go low, but you know how this course usually goes week in and week out when you play this tournament.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think because there are only two par-5s, you have to make some birdies on par-4s, and the par-4s are challenging enough and tough to get it really close.  You have to make some 10 to 25-footers.  I had a couple of opportunities coming in that would have really made the round a few more shots lower, but they didn't quite fall.  That happens.  But I made a bunch on the front.  Made some good putts on the front, so it's going to come down to getting -- you got to get some putts to fall because it's not a course you can overpower.  It's a course if you hit some poor shots will bite you.  It was good solid start to shoot 2-under.

Q.  You talked yesterday about how great the course was.  In terms of conditions today, was it ideal to go out there and try to put up a low number or still difficult?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I don't think the golf course is very easy to go low on.  I just think that it's a challenging test and there aren't any gimme birdie holes.  You have two par-5s.  Even though they're reachable, the greens are very small and difficult to get out and you're going to have to get up and down to salvage a birdie, usually.
So, with that being said, it's a golf course that's not going -- you're not going to go really low on.  If you play super well, you can get 6, 7 under par.  A good solid round of 3, 4, 5-under is really what you're looking for.

Q.  What are you looking for, Phil, to build on today for tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I hit a lot of good shots today.  I started Monday, Tuesday I started more good shots, and each day I'm trying to hit more good shots, and today I hit more good shots than I did yesterday.  If I can do that again tomorrow, I believe I'll make some more birdies and that's kind of the goal.  I know what I'm trying to do.  I have direction now.  And as I practice harder as the week goes on, hitting more and more good shots, that's what I'm trying to do.

Q.  What will you and Bones work on in terms of what you guys are approaching for tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, even though the rough isn't long, every shot out of the rough seems to be a jumper, and the greens are so small, it's really imperative to get the ball in the fairway to be able to attack a lot of the pins.
Although I felt I drove it fairly well, I didn't hit as many fairways as I need to to be able to attack the pins.  That will be where we start getting the ball in the fairways.  They're very fair fairways.  It's not like you can't hit them.  They're very fair width.  That will be goal one and get sharp with the irons.

Q.  Phil, it seemed like people, getting to the course, you're already 3-under through 5 to start the day.  Kind of start in neutral on the back-9.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I played really well and fairly solid today.  The second-9 I had some putts that didn't quite go in.  The front-9 they went in.  But under par is a good solid start.  And it's a golf course that's very tough to go extremely low, certainly for four days.  And I'll come out tomorrow, see if I can hit a couple more fairways and get sharp with the irons, and each day it seems like I'm hitting more and more good shots starting last Tuesday.  I hit more good shots today than I did yesterday, and if I can do that tomorrow, I'll be able to make a few more birdies.

Q.  You said you were working on a few things leading up to the U.S. Open.  What were some of the positives from today you can build on going into Friday?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I hit a number of shots with the flight that I was trying to hit, soft little cut, soft little draws, as well as working some of the shots off the tee.  Even though it wasn't perfect, it was a lot more good shots than I've been hitting.

Q.  Phil, 68.  Your thoughts on today?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It was a good solid round and got off the a good start.  I unfortunately bogeyed the two par-3s on the front-9 with short irons you really shouldn't do, but -- and the birdie putts on 6 and 7 that I thought were going in just didn't quite fall.  The second-9 wasn't quite as low.
I hit a number of good shots today and more good shots than I did yesterday, and if I can continue that trend, I feel like I'm on the right direction, got the right path where I'm headed, so I got keep working on that.

Q.  What it looked to me as I was watching the round you were playing, the trajectory of the ball was traveling in multi directions.  You must be happy with the golf swing.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I have a very good direction.  I feel like a number of the shots I was trying to hit with some draws and fades, working a couple shots off the tee, I hit a lot more shots the way I wanted to than I have been, and that's been kind of the trend the last few days since I started working on my game after Memorial.
This is a good solid start for me.  If I can continue that trend tomorrow, I believe I'll hit more good shots tomorrow, make a few more birdies and shoot a shot or two lower.  I get better into the week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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