home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 3, 2005

Phil Mickelson


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Phil, for joining us. You had an opportunity to play out there. Talk about how great the course is, and you have great memories here, being a two time champion. Why don't you just talk about coming back and getting back into the groove of things.

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I look forward to coming to the tournament. I only missed it once. I missed it last year and I looked back and wished I had come. I thought that at the time I might have a difficult time adjusting from the altitude for the PGA Championship, but the way it turned out, I don't think that will be a problem. In fact, I think it's a great place to prepare and get my game sharp. I missed it last year, and I'm very excited to be back. I've got some great memories of this wonderful place, and I'm glad I can be here for Jack Vickers' 80th birthday.

Q. For a guy who likes to play aggressive golf, how much does this format how much fun is this format for you?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's one of the reasons I feel so comfortable here is the unique Stableford scoring system. I just love being able to put it in attack mode and get as many birdies as I can. If you play for pars here, you don't do well, you don't move up the leaderboard.

There's two things that really matter for me. I've got to drive the ball reasonably in play here. The fairways are okay generous, but there's a lot of trouble off the fairways if you don't happen to hit them.

When I get it in play I'm able to attack the pins, and there's a lot of holes you can get at with short irons, especially at this altitude. You might be 200 yards away but you're still coming out with an 8 iron. If I can get it in play I can try to make birdies.

Q. How are the Broncos going to do this year?

PHIL MICKELSON: Good question. They're going to have to get past my Chargers.

Q. How is your driver working in general?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, they were saying today that the driver I wasn't able to use it as much as in the past. I found a lot of 3 woods were fitting some of the holes, whether the rough pinched in a little bit or what have you. I felt there were a lot of holes that were 3 wood. The par 5s will be important, and I spent a lot of time working on the driver the last couple of weeks because after playing Baltusrol the past couple of days it prepared me to play there.

Q. Any second thoughts on how you might play at Baltusrol compared to Whistling Straits?

PHIL MICKELSON: I've already gone in and prepared and done stuff at Baltusrol, so I don't feel like there's really a big issue there. Last year I wasn't able to get it to fit, and so I did a lot of the preparation during this event. I'm excited to be back.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about Baltusrol and the PGA events?

PHIL MICKELSON: Baltusrol is in as immaculate shape as you'll find it. The fairways are tight, rough is thick, just in pristine condition.

Q. Going in as early as you did this year, there was talk that maybe Augusta had changed from the time Augusta had changed before your preparation so that you maybe prepared a little too early for the majors. Is there any credence to that at all?

PHIL MICKELSON: The golf course will change. It changes from Wednesday to Thursday the week of the event. It certainly changes and you have to adjust, but I need to go in there and see where I can attack and where I can't and keep in mind how the conditions change. I don't think that coming in too early to do preparation has affected my performance this year; I just haven't executed that well.

Q. Playing in the Stableford system, how does it affect the golf tournament the following week?

PHIL MICKELSON: I thought that it would affect it more than it probably will. It's still a course where you have to hit good golf shots, and although you might be able to take a more direct line to the pin than say next week when you have to play more towards the center of the green, I still think it's a great way to prepare for a major. I had a little bit of doubt last year, but I think that it's a great place to come play.

Q. Could you clarify some of the things you've said about the proposed changes to the schedule I think starting in 07?

PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't said anything about it.

Q. Could you comment about it then?

PHIL MICKELSON: I really just can't. It would be just an uninformed I just don't know what's going on, I really don't.

Q. How would you assess your season to this point?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it was a great start. I had a great start to the year winning three times early. I played pretty well at The Masters, didn't quite putt the way I wanted to and finished 10th. But after that I didn't play as well as I expect. The last couple of weeks we've spent a little extra time working trying to finish the year off right with a good performance here and certainly a great performance next week.

Q. How fine a line is that for you in particular, between having a really good year and being disappointed?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the performance it's fairly close. It's a very fine line on being able to play well, be in contention and ultimately win as opposed to finishing middle of the pack which is just what I've been doing. It's saving a shot here or there. If you take off a shot here or there, four, five, six shots add up over four days.

Q. Fans and administrators appreciate the fact that you have to play your way into a major and so you come here. Where did you come up with that strategy? Is there a story behind that, where you decided that's the best way for you to go?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I had talked to a number of great players in the past who liked to take a week off before a major. I certainly tried that at the beginning of my career. I figured that was the way to go and didn't ever have great performances doing that. I felt on Thursday that I was not really ready to hit into these tight fairways with this very thick rough like we see in the U.S. Open, and consequently I would get off to a poor start the first three or four holes and then play catch up.

I found playing competitively the week before got me a little bit more focused, a little bit more intense, I guess, or ready to play tournament golf and I was able to get off to a better start.

Q. Do you feel that maybe some of the players on Tour don't take this particular stop seriously? Greg Norman was saying he feels that maybe Jack Vickers and the tournament deserves some more prestige and maybe some cooperation from some of the players.

PHIL MICKELSON: I think this has turned into a wonderful event, and with the altitude we've seen a lot of the long hitters flock here every year. We see the guys that hit the ball low or not quite as far tend to leave it off their schedule. There's nothing wrong with that. I think that this is a course that certainly favors guys who can hit the ball high and a long ways. Those guys tend to play here.

Q. A lot of people have talked about the Big Four, the Big Five. Greg Norman was just in here and he said that he sees it more as a Tiger Vijay rivalry that's the most intense part of it. Do you see that developing more? Do you worry that you're going to have the Tiger of 2000 again just kind of taking off again?

PHIL MICKELSON: Do I worry about it, no. I try to play as well as I can, and if it's good enough, great, and if it's not, it's not, but I've worked hard to get my game sharp and ready and haven't had the performances in the majors this year that I've liked, but I think what you're talking about, these rivalries, they tend to evolve week to week or month to month and it could certainly change if someone came out and won two or three tournaments, and that would certainly change even if it wasn't from anybody in the Top 10 of the world.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Phil, appreciate it.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297