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May 13, 2005

Phil Mickelson


Q. Phil, when I talked to you yesterday you said you had a mundane round with 17 pars. Can you talk about today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it was a better round in that I had four birdies. I like that I haven't had any bogeys. That's been a big achievement for me, but unfortunately I haven't followed it with enough birdies, and a lot of the short irons that have been a strong point this year, I haven't been getting as close to the hole as I have in the past and I haven't made the putts.

But 5-under still is within striking distance. Fortunately I was able to keep it close enough to where if I can get a good hot round tomorrow, 7-, 8-, 9-under par, I might be able to give myself a chance on Sunday.

Q. Were you more aggressive today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Was I more aggressive? It was the same as the first two days, I just didn't quite execute and get the putts on the green to roll in.

Q. Was there a point where the wind got more steady?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the wind, when we started out, was very calm and we had some great conditions to score in. It picked up around nine holes, around the turn, but for nine holes we had some really good conditions. Even though I played 3-under, I had some chances to get quite a bit lower and just didn't capitalize on them.

Q. Sergio Garcia is going through something you went through a few years ago, which is a guy who was right on the cusp and the next big thing was a major. Now that you've got at that out of the way, what sort of things would you have done differently about playing under the circumstances of Sergio now that he's in a similar place?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I think the great thing about Sergio is that he's so young. I think he's only 24. He's an incredible driver of the golf ball. He drives it extremely long and extremely straight, and he just has so much talent that it's just a matter of time with him. There's no question about if he'll win a major. He definitely will win a bunch. It's just a matter of when.

But he's so young; he's only 24, and he came out on the Tour when he was, what, 19? So it seems like he's a lot older than he is, and he has the game to do very well. He won twice last year. I expect him to win a few times this year, as well.

Q. Do you have any of your old yardage books that you've used here over the years or are those obsolete with the changes that have been made?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the reason I don't use past yardage markers or books here as I do at say The International where I use it every shot is that the wind here is such a factor and it always is quartering at different angles, so that affects the shot a lot more than a certain yardage.

Q. How do you feel going into the weekend?

PHIL MICKELSON: I feel pretty good. I feel like it's right on the edge of turning. I just need one or two putts here to fall to give me a little momentum and I think I can turn these 1- and 4-under par rounds into 6-, 7-, 8- and give myself a chance on Sunday.

Q. (Inaudible).

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the thing is I played well. I mean, I'm at 5-under and I played well to get here, it's just that I haven't quite scored and taken advantage of some birdie holes to get it where I want it.

Q. Comparing Cottonwood Valley and TPC, some players think the rough is higher here. Do you find that or --

PHIL MICKELSON: I think both courses play about the same. They're both not the easiest driving holes because of the way the fairways turn and you have cross-winds, trying to hit a very narrow area, and that seems to be a challenge off the tee.

And then the greens are just immaculate. I have no excuses. They're rolling as good a surface as I've seen. They're very true, very subtle breaks, I just haven't seen them.

Q. Are you going to the Mavericks game tonight?


End of FastScripts.

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