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September 14, 2005

Phil Mickelson


Q. Playing the week before The Presidents Cup, does that fit in with the game plan?

PHIL MICKELSON: It does. I have heard a lot of good things about this golf course, and I have been wanting to come here. It worked out perfectly the week before The Presidents Cup. It gives me a chance to get competitive, get ready for it, and I've been really impressed and blown away with how great the accommodations, how great the golf course is.

Q. You're staying here then?


Q. What are your thoughts about the golf course as a whole?

PHIL MICKELSON: I love it. I think that it's a very fair, fun, hard test of golf. The greens are very firm, which makes it tough to get the ball close, especially given the small greens, but overall I think it's a very fun, fair hard test of golf.

Q. How was your vacation?

PHIL MICKELSON: It was great. I had a nice three weeks off and it's been a lot of fun. I was able to spend a lot of time with my family and have some fun and get a bit of a break from the game, and now I'm looking forward to getting back and playing a little bit.

Q. Can you talk about the hurricane, your plans for that?

PHIL MICKELSON: You know, it's a very difficult thing, and for all the individuals in the country, it's a very helpless feeling, as though we can't do enough. If everybody pitches in, we'll be able to hopefully help get them back on their feet and get the city built and so forth over time.

So this week I'm going to give whatever I make, a minimum of $250,000, to the Clinton Bush Katrina Relief Fund. I love the way President Bush and Bill Clinton have gotten together to help out with the tsunami and to help out with Katrina, too. Here you have two political rivals, and to come together and do what they have done, I think it's tremendous to help what they are doing.

Q. Are you also playing in San Francisco?


Q. Have you ever played Harding Park?

PHIL MICKELSON: I have not played it, no.

Q. How difficult is it to play a new course, about like this?

PHIL MICKELSON: I think it just takes an extra practice round or two to see the course and know where you want to hit it. The practice rounds are a little different; you're looking at where you can and can't go for all four, five potential pins as opposed to just playing and shooting for a score.

Q. What's the mindset, last year coming off the Ryder Cup and this year going into The Presidents Cup this week? Your mindset, maybe are you guys going to get together any time later this week and discuss anything?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the event doesn't start until Friday, and we'll be in there by Monday, so we're going to have three practice rounds, which is a lot of practice rounds. My only concern is that we don't overdo it, play too much, because we can get worn out before the event starts. I don't want that to happen.

We as a team obviously want to play well, and this seems to be our cycle, where we don't play that great in the Ryder Cup, come back strong in the Presidents Cup with good play. I would expect us to play very well, and I think that we have played well at RTJ in the past, and I expect us to do the same next week and hopefully perform well as a team.

Q. Very anxious, too, with the tie, to get back to the last time, back to business with this time and maybe

PHIL MICKELSON: I think that we're all really excited about the event given that we tied in '03. I think we want to come back, both sides, and try to get a "W."

Q. You've been with Bones for a long time. Why has that worked for so long and what makes a good caddie?

PHIL MICKELSON: It's hard to get into, but we certainly have had a good relationship, and I'm very lucky to have him.

Q. What are your thoughts on the PGA TOUR and your thoughts about coming up here? This is probably one of your first times here at Nemacolin. Thoughts about coming up here and what it means to you?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I've certainly enjoyed my first round here. It's an amazing golf course. I've been really impressed. It seems like when you're driving to get here, you don't expect much (laughter), but when you get here, it's something else. The accommodations and the hotel have been amazing, and I've really enjoyed the week so far.

End of FastScripts.

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