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October 6, 2015

Phil Mickelson

Songdo IBD, Incheon City, Korea

Q. You've been on the team so many times, what do you think you need to do to be to be consistent --
PHIL MICKELSON: Put the players in position to succeed is the most important thing. Not give them obstacles to overcome and the way you do that is to take away some of the uncertainty, let them know who you're going to play with, let them know when they may be playing. Give them a chance to prepare properly, to get acquainted with each other to figure out what to say, whatnot to say, to bring out the best in each other, and how to work together as a unit, a team.

And you know, Jay has been doing that. Jay has been a wonderful captain. He's got great people to bounce ideas off of with his assistant captains being Stricker, Furyk, Freddie and Davis, so he's got a lot of experience by his side if he needs it. But he's been here now the last three Presidents Cups, along Freddie's side and really helped with the decision making and he's done a great job.

Q. What do you do as a player from a leadership perspective?
PHIL MICKELSON: As a player you want to play well. That's the thing that you can really bring to the table. You play well, make a lot of birdies and make points, that's the idea, that's the goal as a player. One of the things that, having been on a number of teams, is to try to figure out and how to know how to get the best out of each individual player, because guys are so different and it's an individual game, figuring out when to say something, when not to say something to bring the best out of the guys.

Q. This is your first visit to Korea. How do you like it so far?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've really enjoyed my time here in Korea. The first three days I've been here, I've had a chance to see some of the area and get acquainted with the golf course. The people have been very nice and respectful. After the round, we signed autographs -- we didn't sign during the round but afterwards we tried to stay around and accommodate the fans and be appreciative of the fact that they came out to watch us play.

Q. How would you describe Jay's captain style?
PHIL MICKELSON: Jay, we've gotten to know Jay quite a bit now over the last three Presidents Cups and he's a lot like Fred. He let's you know what's going on. He pats you on the back, tells you to go get 'em, and really gets the best out of us.

Q. How proud are you, 21st national team in a row, that's pretty impressive?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's really fun and these weeks have become some of the weeks that I cherish the most in my career. These times that we share together and these emotions and the matches and supporting players, develop friendships that last a lifetime and I really cherish my time on these teams, and just really enjoy them.

Q. Jay mentioned about the phones for the fans last night during the meeting, did you hear a lot out there today?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, we don't worry about it as much in the practice rounds. I didn't notice it too much while we were hitting. It could have been there was so much of it we tuned it out or it could have been it wasn't happening. I'm not sure.

I feel like it will be the same for everybody.

Q. Do you think it's good to be coming to Asia for the first time and expanding golf to a new frontier?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that as popular as the game of golf is here in Korea, I think it's such a great thing to bring some of the best players in the world here to play in front of this wonderful country and wonderful fans.

Q. Talk about Jim Furyk, making a tough decision?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, with Jim's injury, I've had something similar. It's a bone bruise where you have inflammation in the bones. It's extremely painful and it's going to take four to eight weeks for the inflammation to leave before he's able to play 100 percent. I think it's a tough decision but the fact that he was able to decide not to play but still be here, was great for our prospects.

I think that he brings so much to the team, and he and his wife, Tab, are so well loved and appreciated amongst the players, that it would have been a huge loss if they weren't here, so we're very appreciative that they are here as an assistant captain.

Q. The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus. There is going to be something special about the greens; how was it?
PHIL MICKELSON: The greens were some of the best conditioned greens we've seen. There are no imperfections on the greens. They are as good as you could possibly have, and the golf course is extremely fun to play. It's very well designed. It's a wonderful golf course, and the bunkering is beautiful aesthetically. It is a very well designed golf course.

Q. Speed-wise, how was it?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was very comparable to what we see on TOUR. I think the greens will get a little bit faster as the week goes on.

Q. You play with these guys every week on the TOUR, the International Team. Are you expecting a tough match this week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think this is going to be an extremely close, difficult match decided by one or two points. I think that with the reduction of four points, with the ability that is on the International Team, the talent level, I think that it's going to be a very difficult, tough match.

I think the first two days are going to be critical, I really do. I think the first two days, those ten points are going to set the tone for the match, and those first two days will be very important.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: We've played significantly better (laughter).

Q. Any other reason you can think of?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know (laughing) it's the truth.

Q. You seem like you have a good team in these team matches and playing match play with other players. We've seen you mucking around with your partners and stuff and you clearly enjoy playing in this tournament?
PHIL MICKELSON: I love it. I love it. It's fun to spend time with the guys. It's fun to play with this type of pressure and emotion that comes out and being able to have a partner. It's fun to get to know the wives and caddies on a more intimate level where we are really developing friendships that last quite some time.

And we are sharing a very emotional experience together. These weeks are very emotional, and they are just the best weeks.

Q. Do you ever use this week to prep for --
PHIL MICKELSON: No, not really. But I think as you get to the point where guys become captains, they look back upon all their money experiences and take upon them. But while you are going through it as a player, that's the furthest thing. I'm thinking about how we are going to play well; what pairings should match up and bring out the best and how I can play my golf and prepare myself to play my best golf.

Q. You've been playing in The Presidents Cup the past ten times --
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, having played now in every Presidents Cup, it's meant a lot to me. These are opportunities for me to represent my country and I'm very proud of the country I represent, and it's an opportunity to share a very special week with many of my peers. I cherish each one of my events.

Q. Do you know who you're playing with?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes. Our captain will come out with our pairings, yes.

Q. Is it okay if you're paired with a rookie?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, I've played with many rookies over the years and had quite a bit of success. I think that young players, rookie players, bring a lot to both teams. Usually they play some of their best golf and can bring a lot to the team.

Q. I understand that you're here with your wife. What does it mean to bring your family over here to play?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, our wives and the teams's wives and our caddies, as well, will be a huge part of our success. And my wife is the most important person in my life and she has really brought a lot to me and she's helped me be the best player that I can be and the fact that she's here, we're able to share this time together, is very special.

Q. Is there anything that you can share with us about the Korean players?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know a lot about both players. I just know they have had exceptional years and they are wonderful, talented players, but I haven't had a chance to spend a lot of time with either of them.

Q. How do you think a tournament like this where it's for a charitable cause helps bring different Asians together in the spirit of charity?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think we think of it, even though there are many charitable benefits of this event, we see it more as an opportunity to compete against each other, to develop friendships, relationships and close bonds, as well as an opportunity to bring the best players together in a competitive format to help promote the game on a global basis.

Q. When you listen to Jay talk about you as a pick, it's as much a player's pick as a captain's pick. Curious what that meant?
PHIL MICKELSON: That meant more to me than anything and I'm appreciative of the chance to have felt how that feels to be wanted by the other players, and it was very emotional for me when I found out. And it makes me just want to play hard and do anything I can to help us succeed.

Q. Is there any part of you that wonders how many of these you have left?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, not yet. I think that I'm excited about the way the last few months have gone, which makes me very excited for the coming year and coming years.

Q. Negative question, kind of was --
PHIL MICKELSON: With a very positive answer.

Q. It's not often that the world's No. 1 ranking has been in play at The Presidents Cup. Does that add a bit of excitement to it, having it been swapped between Jordan and Jason?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think it has done any more so than when Tiger was No. 1 and playing and representing us. Having the best player in the world at the time, who was undoubtedly the best player in the world, having him as part of The Presidents Cups, brought a lot in the past, just as having Jordan brings a lot to the future of The Presidents Cup.

Q. Do you feel with Tiger not here, that your current prospects have got to step up?
PHIL MICKELSON: We always have to step up because even having the No. 1 player in the world, you still have to compete in the team format and gather more points than what one man can gain.

Q. How much when you think about all The Presidents Cup you've played, you think of highlights for you, on the golf course or team room --
PHIL MICKELSON: We'll reminisce in some practice rounds or on the golf course, not during the competition.

Q. What about looking back --
PHIL MICKELSON: What do I think of? I've got a ton of memories that just kind of pop up going all the way back to '94, every year, memories and stories get created. I don't even know where to start.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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