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March 24, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Austin, Texas

Q. Tell us about your round.
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, neither Daniel or myself played well, but we gave a lot of holes away to each other. I was fortunate to come out on top. I hope he's okay. I don't know if I've ever seen that happen. I hope he's all right, because he's such an asset to the Tour. That hopefully he can play tomorrow and be able to play the rest of the year. Big picture, I hope he's fine.

Q. Do you know who you play tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON: I play Patrick Reed tomorrow. We're both 2 & 0. It's going to be a difficult match. A difficult challenge but a fun challenge. A fun opportunity to play against him. I've got to bring the game that I brought the first day rather than today.

Q. You played with him in The Presidents Cup. Can you tell what it's like to play alongside him, as well?
PHIL MICKELSON: I enjoy being with him. I've enjoyed our team events, the time that we've had together. And I'm going to enjoy the opportunity to compete against him tomorrow. It's going to be a difficult match. But it's going to be a fun match. It's why we play. It's a good position to be in, to have an opportunity to move on to the weekend, but a very difficult obstacle in front of me.

Q. How was Daniel's game?
PHIL MICKELSON: We both struggled. Neither one of us really won any holes. We handed each other holes back and forth. And it wasn't a match either of us had hoped for. Under these difficult conditions when you start to hit it less than perfect it gets magnified. But it will be an interesting match tomorrow against Patrick Reed. I'm looking forward to an opportunity to play against him.

Q. On 13, did you hit that 3-wood?

Q. Did you push it?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I blocked it, a terrible shot.

Q. How do you like being back in this event?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's fun. I always enjoyed the event. It was never the event that held me back. My kids were on vacation all the time and it was always during the West Coast Swing, and I ended up missing it because of that. I'm happy to be back. I was excited to be back and play. I enjoy the event. I really like the new format. I like being guaranteed three rounds with an opportunity to move on with a blemish. Although tomorrow there's no opportunity for a blemish. I've got to win the match tomorrow. But I'm looking forward to it.

Q. That being said, about the structure, when you win on day one, does it change your approach to day two and three, to get out of the gate quick?
PHIL MICKELSON: Day one, when I was doing the math, is the most critical because of the odds of moving on. You have to have somebody else do other stuff.

But if you win that first match you have a decent chance to move on.

Q. When you heard the sound --
PHIL MICKELSON: I was watching, because I thought there was a good chance he didn't make contact. That's happened to me before, not the injury, but swinging over the top of it or misjudging where the obstacle is. It happens. So I was just watching if the ball was struck and it wasn't. He hit the rock on the downswing. And hopefully his wrist is okay.

Q. What makes Patrick Reed such a good match play competitor?
PHIL MICKELSON: He's a good player. When you shoot low scores it's tough to beat. He doesn't make any mistakes. He doesn't make very many mistakes. He keeps the ball in play, hits solid iron shots. He's a very good ball-striker. He's a good putter. He may not be the guy that goes on the 7 birdie run. He's the guy that makes 7 birdies over 18 holes and shoots a solid round over 18 holes without making too many mistakes. And so that's why I think -- he doesn't give holes away like Daniel and I did today. I've got to bring a lot better golf tomorrow.

Q. You been known to put young guys through the paces through the early week rounds, match play format, to try to prep them for Ryder Cup. Is that kind of the same thing only you've got something on the line?
PHIL MICKELSON: Not this week, no. That's like the Tuesday games where we're there for fun. When it's a tournament it's just a different feel. We kind of just keep to our own and don't really say much, even with my good friends, even with guys I spend a lot of time with, like Keegan. When we're playing together we don't do too much talking about stuff like that.

Q. How do you assess Daniel's game?
PHIL MICKELSON: He's a very solid player. Hits the ball hard, hits it far, solid putter. But again, he and I, we were not at our best today. And he won holes that I gave him and I won holes that he gave me. I wouldn't assess either of our games based on today because it just wasn't our best.

Q. It seems like there's so many young golfers --
PHIL MICKELSON: There are a lot of good, young players, the game is in good shape. They're fun to watch. They hit the ball hard and can play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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