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June 13, 2015

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Phil, we know you like to play your way into the Majors, play the week before.  Today I saw a couple shots you hit that I thought you may not normally play in an event.  You putted off the green on 7.  Lot of long irons off the tee.  Is that something you're preparing for next week already?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Could be.  7 I took a couple practice swings.  It was into the grain, and the ground is so tight that around the greens when it's into the grain, I don't feel like I have a chance to get the leading edge or a sand wedge underneath the ball, the ball sits so down the only shot is a flop shot.  I ended up putting that one.  It's good preparation for next week because there's going to be a lot of putting from off the green.

Q.  I'm sure there is.  Talk about putting.  How about the long one on 17?  You finally got one to drop.  Finally on 17 something fell for you.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yes.  That was a longer one that you don't really expect to make, but it was sure nice the see one go in.  I had a couple really close calls.  One on 16 I thought I made, which would have got me back to even par.  To get it back to even, that was a good goal for me after starting the way I did with a double on the 1st.  Felt like I fought hard to play a good, solid round.  It's not what I needed or wanted to get in contention.  Looking forward to playing a good round tomorrow, get a little momentum for next week.

Q.  Yeah, the leaders aren't really running away from you.  At 3-under par, you're only five strokes back.  Any kind of different game plan for tomorrow to try to chase these guys down?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think 10-under is going to win.  I think there's a 7-under round out there.  I feel like I'm hitting the ball well enough to be able to do it, but you really have to put it all together.  You don't have any gimme birdies, you got make some putts, but I'll need to get off to a good start tomorrow.

Q.  If anybody can do it, you can, thanks for your time.

Q.  Golf course really changed.  Speak to the conditions today.
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's a very fair but challenging test.  I think that -- like I say, I think it's an underrated golf course.  It's one of the best we have on Tour.  Aesthetically it might not be as great maybe as it could be.  The way it plays, it's beautiful.  It rewards good shots and penalizes poorly struck shots.  You got to hit some wonderful shots for birdies.  When you miss greens, it's challenging up and down.  I got off to a rough start with a double on the first, but I fought hard to get the round back to even par.  I'm pleased with that.  I'm disappointed I didn't make a better run for tomorrow.  I think right around 10-under par is going to end up winning this golf course.  I think the course is playing challenging enough and you never know.  There's a low round out there.

Q.  Do you have that low round?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I feel like I'm a lot closer, but I've been feeling that and saying that for months now and it hasn't quite clicked.  I keep waiting.  But these last five days I've had the biggest strides in my game.  I feel like I'm controlling my misses better and I'm hitting a lot more good shots.  We'll see.  It feels like it's been close for awhile now.  I'm kind of waiting for it to all click.

Q.  Speaking of that, I love your impressions on golf courses.  I'd love to get your take on what's happening next weeks at Chambers Bay?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think it's a wonderful golf course to play.  It provides numerous shot-making opportunities to get to a number of different pins.  I think like St. Andrews, the first time you play it, you don't know where to go, you don't how the mounds will react.  You end up not understanding it, but the more you play St. Andrews, the more you play Chambers Bay, you get all these different pin placements, you can hit a variety of different shots, you have a number of options.  It's a really enjoyable challenge and fun golf course to play.

Q.  You got to feel good that you guys were able -- you were able to take care of it and get yourself in position today.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I'm pleased that I didn't let the round get away from me after the start.  I hit a number of good golf shots.  Put the ball in play after the tee and had a lot of good iron shots into the green.  Made some good putts to salvage par.  The putt on 17 felt good after not birdieing 16 to get it back to par.  Really a tough test.  You can't get the mindset to go out and force birdies.  I hit some good iron shots on 9 and 10 to make two birdies and get the round back to even.  It was a round that could have gone either way and ended up right in the middle, and tomorrow I'm going to try to get off to a quick start and see if I can make something happen.  I feel like it's closer than ever, but again I keep waiting and waiting.  Haven't quite clicked yet.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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