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February 14, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Pebble Beach, California

Q. I know that you got to be a little disappointed, but a second and a third on the West Coast, you're trying to make changes to your swing, you got to be satisfied about that, don't you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I'm certainly disappointed that I wasn't able to put together, but it makes me a little bit more determined to get this back to where I want it. Obviously, I'm not quite there yet.

Today I played a little bit tighter than I wanted to. I made some -- a few more mistakes in short game around the greens. I didn't salvage some pars the way I wanted to. And it just tells me I still need a little bit of work. But I'm also very close.

Q. That putt you hit on 18, it looked like you hit it where you wanted to. Did you?
PHIL MICKELSON: I thought it was a left edge putt. I think I hit it left edge and it was rolling there. It didn't quite take the break the way I had hoped.

But I've made a lot of putts this week. I made the two on 16, 17 I thought for sure, never crossed my mind that I wouldn't make that one and when it didn't go in, it just, I was a bit shocked.

Q. The new green at 17, I had no idea what that putt was going to do. You read that one perfectly.
PHIL MICKELSON: It went right the first half, and then it kind of softened by the hole. So, the -- as it was coming down there, it looked like, oh, it might miss low, but it did straighten up just a little bit and caught the lip. That's where I thought that I would get that birdie on 18 for sure.

But just tells me I got a little bit more work to do, and I'll come back out. I'll take next week off, relax for a few days and get back to work and try to improve on the way I've been playing this last month at Honda and Doral.

Q. Final round with a lot of drama here at Pebble Beach. How did it play out from your perspective?
PHIL MICKELSON: I played a little bit tighter throughout the round than I wanted to. I was trying to kind of free it up, but I didn't salvage pars on some holes that I needed to salvage pars.

I didn't have a hard up-and-down on 11. I didn't have a hard up-and-down on 14. And I wasn't able to get those up-and-down. Those were some shots that cost me, just like not getting up-and-down on 4 and 5 today, as well as the last.

So it tells me I need a little bit of work to do. I'm not quite where I want to be yet. I'm a little bit more determined to get it back. But I also know that I'm close.

Q. How frustrating is it not to be able to free it up with a lead Sunday at Pebble?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's -- well, it's certainly disappointing, and, but it makes me more determined to get back to work and get this thing right, because I know that I'm on the right track. I know that I'm close to being where I want to be. But if I was there, I would have been able to finish it off.

Q. What are the positives you'll take moving forward the rest of the year?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the positive is that I'm having more fun playing golf right now than I've had in years. I've got control of the golf ball, I'm hitting a variety of shots and pulling them off with ease, and I'm just having a lot of fun. As nervous as I was and as disappointed as I am that I didn't win, this was so much fun for me to get back in the thick of it and feel the pressure to make a couple of clutch putts on 16 and 17. And it never crossed my mind that one on 18 wouldn't go in. But it just tells me I got a little bit more work to do.

Q. Couple of Top-3s in the West Coast. Do you feel like you're making progress towards where you want to be?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I'm playing well, and I know that I'm close and I know that I'm on the right track. Those are the good things.

Disappointing not to have finished it off today. It's disappointing not to play a little bit more mistake free on a final round with the lead. There were a lot of opportunities, easy up-and-downs that I didn't capitalize on to keep the round going, I let a lot of shots slide there.

The good news was I hit a lot of good shots and made a couple of key putts on 16 and 17 to give myself a chance, and I thought for sure that one on 18 would go. It wasn't anything tricky, and I thought I hit it where I wanted to, left edge, and it just didn't quite break.

But it also makes me more determined having not won on the West Coast to work harder to get my game back to where I want it to be and hopefully, be sharp and ready for my next event, which will be in one week at Honda. Play Honda and Doral well.

It doesn't -- I'm encouraged with how I'm playing, I'm disappointed with the result, and I'm disappointed I'm not where I want to be yet, but it just makes me a little bit more determined to put in the extra effort to get it done.

Q. What was the emotions like on 18 just to put yourself there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's why I play, it's what I love about playing the TOUR. I love that finish, the last three holes of trying to catch the leader and get into a playoff. I love those opportunities and that pressure. It's why we play. And it's been awhile since I felt that.

Q. You mentioned being a little tight and being a little nervous out there. Were you more so than you have been in a while?
PHIL MICKELSON: Probably. It's been awhile since I've been in that position, it's been awhile since I've led a tournament, and it's been awhile since I've felt like I was playing this well, where I was my expectations are a the lot higher.

Q. Do you go home with a smile just saying it's not a win, but?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm going to go home, and I'm going to go home with a determination to get this right, to finish doing what I need to do to get this right. It's very close. I've had some rounds where I've really struck the ball well, where I've played well, and also where I've focused well.

And, but, today wasn't my best day, and yet I still loved every opportunity. But it's going to make me more determined to go back home and get this.

Q. Everyone will point to that putt. Is there a stroke out there that will haunt you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Quite a few of them. That up-and-down on 14 out of the bunker on the par-5 was not a hard shot. I hit it 10 feet too far. Eight feet too far. It just -- those little mistakes you can't make that late in the round.

I didn't have a hard chip on 11, I didn't get up-and-down.

4 and 5 were not that hard up-and-downs either.

Q. You've had that putt before here. You said yesterday you were going to consult with Andrew overnight. Did you feel comfortable with your swing before you started the round?
PHIL MICKELSON: I did, yeah. We came out, had a nice session in the morning and felt like I started to free up. I made some good swings.

A good drive on 2, which told me that I was on the right track. I thought I hit it okay today. I got away with the one bad shot I hit on 11, but I got away with it somewhat.

Q. You have had a lot of close calls in your career at different tournaments. Does that make you sort of better equipped to handle this one and move forward from it?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if those past experiences help or hurt. I know that I come out of this a little bit more determined, a little bit more, what's the word? I guess determined. I'm just a little more determined to get back to work. Because I know where I'm playing, I know how close I am to being where I want to be and when I get there, I'm excited about what the result's going to be. But right now, I'm not quite there yet.

Q. You, obviously, are focused on yourself during the round. But now that it's over, what does it say about golf when a guy ranked 447th, hasn't won in 11 years, can win like Vaughn Taylor did?
PHIL MICKELSON: He's a nice guy. I'm happy for him. I haven't seen him in a long time, so it's good to see him back playing well.

Q. Push away whatever your age is, it doesn't seem to matter anymore, right?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I don't feel like it does. I actually think a lot of that experience of shot making, hitting shots, and so forth is a help. But you still have to execute.

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