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February 4, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Scottsdale, Arizona

A flash interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Despite a hiccup out there, still a very solid way to open with 2-under today. Thoughts on your round.

PHIL MICKELSON: I really enjoyed the round today. I got off to a good start. Played a great front 9 and let a few shots go to the back. But I hit a lot of really good shots today, hit a lot of good iron shots, had a lot of fun.

I probably didn't score as low as I felt I played, but I'm very encouraged with the number of quality shots I hit and how my game feels.

Q. [Indiscernible.]
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, you know, when you don't score as low as you feel like you're playing, it can be frustrating, but for me I find it to be more encouraging that I'm making a lot of birdies, I hit a lot of quality shots, I'm driving the ball long and straight. My irons are starting to really come back. I hit a lot of good iron shots today.

I'm encouraged that, you know, as the week wears on and the days come on, it's going to keep getting better and better. I've got a lot of good things that came from this round.

Q. Are you surprised by Bubba's comments?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know what the comments were.

Q. He said he didn't like the course, didn't like the changes to it.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's certainly longer and harder. It's a longer and harder golf course than what we had before.

Like some of the holes, like 13, that par-5, where you used to be able to run shots up onto the green, now you have to fly it over that bunker. 15, now that the tee was moved back, playing very long, it's probably not as exciting of a birdie and eagle opportunity as it was in the past, but it just means that the scores won't be as low.

Q. [Indiscernible.]
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I hit a bad shot at the wrong time. It's the tightest hole out there. You miss the fairway five yards left, you're in the wash, in the hazard. You miss it right of the bunker, you're out of bounds.

I just hit the one bad shot at the wrong time, and it's unfortunate but I'm not going to dwell on the one bad one because there were really a lot of good ones.

Q. [Indiscernible.]
PHIL MICKELSON: I love that he's out here. He's out here supporting the game and that he's having fun and that the game of golf is a place where kids want to be. I just love that they're here.

Q. Did you make any changes to your stroke?
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't thought about stroke at all. All I have been trying to do is just match my line and speed and get my feel and touch back.

The stroke has not been the problem. It's just been matching it up, matching the right speed with the line that I choose.

Q. Is this as easy as the course is going to play?
PHIL MICKELSON: Is that as easy as the course is going to play?

That's hard to say. I mean, I don't find this golf course easy anymore. You know, it's long and it's thick rough and the fairways are extremely tight. It used to be a course where with the dormant rough that we had and the wide fairways, you could really just let it go off the tee and get away with a lot of mishits.

The fairways and landing areas, 8, you know, landing areas like 12, 14 yards wide on the angle off the tee, there is a lot of holes like that where you have to drive it really well here. You can't get away with anything.

So I wouldn't say that -- you know, I would never call it easy, but I don't know how the next few days will be set up. It was not easy today. It just wasn't as hard as it can be.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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