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February 24, 2005

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: I'm very fortunate to be moving on tomorrow. And I played well. Loren came out strong in the end, and on 17 I was fortunate to birdie it and win.

Q. What was the turning point?

PHIL MICKELSON: I turned to 1‑up and I ended up winning 10 and 11, and that's where the match really changed. 10, 11 and 13 I got 4‑up and he came back in the end, but it was a nice birdie on 16, great shot to two feet, it was tremendous. And fortunately I was able to stop his run on 17 with a birdie.

Q. Are the distances for distance players kind of neutralized on this ground the way it is today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I felt like with some of the tees moved up, and 9 playing as a par‑3, one of the longer holes there, what I thought might be a bigger distance advantage wasn't quite as much as I thought. But I was able to make enough birdies to be okay.

Q. Do you feel like you hit the ball the way you did in previous wins?

PHIL MICKELSON: I think the biggest thing is I drove it great. I didn't miss a fairway ‑‑ I missed one fairway in 15. Coming into the greens from the fairway with short irons gives me a chance to be aggressive and make birdies, and I ended up making six of them today, which was the difference.

Q. Everybody was talking about the footprints had shadows in them, they were so deep. You obviously didn't have much trouble putting on them?

PHIL MICKELSON: The good thing about that or the thing about that was that your opponent had the same greens you did. You weren't competing against guys that went off five hours ahead of you with perfect greens. It didn't matter either way.

Q. You made six birdie putts, though?

PHIL MICKELSON: A lot of them were ‑‑ three of them were two‑putts ‑‑ is that right ‑‑ two of them were two‑putts and I was able to hit a couple of short irons pretty close. It wasn't like I made a lot of long ones. I made a pretty good one on 5.

Q. No matter where you are coming in, it's got to be a relief to get through that first match?

PHIL MICKELSON: It is. It's a relief to get by any match because the possibility of being eliminated ‑‑ the first match I have been knocked out before, and it's just not any fun. It just is no fun to be watching the whole thing on TV. And fortunately I got by the first round. It will be a tough day tomorrow. It will be a tough guy for the guys that make it to Saturday.

So I've got a tough match tomorrow with Angel Cabrera. He's a very solid player, hits solid right‑to‑left shots, which is perfect for this course, which is what I try to do. He hits the ball a long way. It's going to be a tough match.

Q. No upsets this year in the top four. It's kind of interesting. It's what you were talking about.

PHIL MICKELSON: The top players are playing well, but the guys who got by their first matches are also playing well. This is where you don't see any large discrepancies. I'd be surprised if you see some big match differences.

End of FastScripts.

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