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May 12, 2005

Phil Mickelson


Q. Just talk about a round a little bit.

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it was for me a very mundane round, pretty boring. I had one birdie and that was it.

I played pretty well. I just didn't get the ball in the hole, didn't putt very well on the greens. I was watching guys shoot 4-, 5-, 6-under par like it was nothing. It was a little frustrating. Tomorrow I'll get off to an early start at 9:00 o'clock and hopefully make some birdies.

Q. (Inaudible).

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know, but it's been fun to come out here to the Byron Nelson and play in Dallas. The way people support this tournament is amazing.

Q. Is it more exciting for you knowing that the Big Five are all playing against each other?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think about that too much. I certainly like the chance to play in the same field, but we don't ever get paired together on Thursday and Friday, so I don't really think about it much until Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully we'll get paired together.

Q. Talk about Byron Nelson's participation and his personal touch. What kind of personal things have you shared and what kind of interactions have you had?

PHIL MICKELSON: A lot of the things that he does to stay in touch with the players. I think the cool thing about Byron Nelson is he sends a lot of notes to all the players and we cherish them and we keep them. I don't know if he knows that.

When he played in 1945, the purses weren't very much; he won 18 times and didn't make all that much money, maybe $20,000, $25,000 for the year, and now we have a purse this year that's $6.2 million, which is amazing. Instead of being upset about it and wishing he had played in this era, he's happy. He's genuinely happy for the guys out here and the game of golf to see it succeed, and I think that shows a real quality individual.

Q. What did you think when he picked up Retief at the airport?

PHIL MICKELSON: I just heard about it. I thought that was pretty cool.

Q. You've played here a lot. Are there a couple holes where you go around thinking, "This has got to be a birdie hole for me; this has got to be a hole I can't blow up on"?

PHIL MICKELSON: Usually there are some holes on a course where you're just happy to make par and move on. But out here you really feel like each hole is a birdie hole. You don't really approach a hole and say, "Well, I'll take par," and move on. Each hole is really a birdie hole, but the thing is we only have two par 5s, and so that keeps things somewhat in check.

Q. What holes? What are the holes --

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, par 5s you've got to birdie, 7 and 16, because those are the only two par 5s and they're both fairly reachable.

Q. Is wind ever a factor or is it just a matter of --

PHIL MICKELSON: It's a factor, yeah.

Q. (Inaudible).

PHIL MICKELSON: Possibly. I know that we don't. I know that it's a game where you police yourself and players in the group police each other for the rest of the field. I don't know. I haven't thought about any other sport that there is, but it's probably unique in that sense. If it isn't the only one, there's very few that are like that.

If there's a disagreement on a ruling, you just call an official.

Q. Do you ever disagree with --

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, if you call an official and they give you a drop and there's no penalty, but if you don't call an official and you take a drop thinking that you're right, there could be a penalty. If there's any type of doubt -- rarely do players differ on the rules for the player's detriment. Usually they're trying to find a ruling that will help the other player.

Q. Being the sportsman that you are, did you have a chance to see the Mavs last night?

PHIL MICKELSON: I did. That was a great game.

Q. Who do you like?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I spent a lot of time in Phoenix (laughter), so I might be a little biased. I was a big Michael Finley fan and Steve Nash fan when they were with Phoenix before they came to Dallas, so when they came over to Dallas I've been kind of pulling for the Mavericks, but not ahead of the Suns.

End of FastScripts.

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