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January 30, 2005

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: It was a tough day to score low on, especially the first -- well, the first half of the day I would say for sure. Actually it really hasn't gotten that much easier. The wind stayed up and it's a cold wind so it real effects the ball. I really thought that the scores, that some of the guys were going to come back, and they did, except Justin just took off and played some tremendous golf.

Q. Did you feel that given where you were on the leaderboard, that it was a tall order or manageable given the wind conditions?

PHIL MICKELSON: I thought the wind conditions made it much more possible to catch the leaders, because you can still shoot 6, 7-under par with the wind. You've got five par 5s. I ended up birdieing five par 5s, but it was the other holes that I wasn't able to make birdies and I made some mistakes, and it was going to be tough for the leaders to shoot under par because it was a tough day.

The way Justin played, it was pretty impressive.

Q. Next week is a big week for you. Assess your progress this year. Are you where you wanted to be or progressing nicely? How do you feel?

PHIL MICKELSON: I'm looking forward to playing each week. I can tell that after San Diego I was playing much better heading into this week, and as the week wore on I started to hit some pretty good shots. I felt like I played pretty well today with the exception of maybe two swings, so I'm excited about that, and hopefully I'll be able to improve on my performance over in Phoenix. It's a golf course I love and I was fortunate to win it in '96, and I'll try to repeat that.

Q. Do you feel like five rounds benefits you at this point, more rounds, more play?

PHIL MICKELSON: Without question, playing another competitive round has been a benefit, especially under the conditions. Not necessarily at PGA West, but at some of the other courses the rough wasn't too bad, you could chip and putt. It was a little more difficult here, but it was nice playing that extra competitive round.

Q. You're not playing Riviera, correct?


Q. Is that because there's so many events piled up now?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the reason I don't play it is because I play six of seven and I just don't want to play seven in a row, and I feel obligated to play a lot of other tournaments. If you look at the six that I'm playing, I've won all of them but Doral, and I haven't won LA, so I just feel like I'll play here at the Hope, play San Diego where I grew up, play Phoenix where I lived for 11 years, AT & T where I've won. AT & T is a good week to spend it with some business partners, too.

Q. There are some pretty tough choices you have to make as far as the West Coast, where you're going to play, where you aren't?


Q. By your standards, how good was the save on 10?

PHIL MICKELSON: The save on 10, it was probably a 9. It was a risky shot. I had to go way out over the lake with a wedge and hook a wedge 50, 60, yards, which against the wind isn't an easy shot, but it wasn't impossible, either, because I had a tight lie and I was able to get some spin on it.

Q. How about on 12? Was it a wind thing?


Q. No, 13, I'm sorry.

PHIL MICKELSON: No, it was just a bad swing. I tried to get at the pin as opposed to playing more left, and I wanted to make sure that I didn't bail out on it and miss it left, because if I did, it would have ballooned up into the wind and come up way short. So I wanted to make sure I released it, and I released it all right, way right.

End of FastScripts.

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