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July 7, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Inverness, Scotland

PHIL MICKELSON: It was tough but I think this course is so well-designed that it can accommodate difficult conditions. I think it was designed to accommodate conditions like that. It's a very fair test. I thought it was very playable even in such challenging conditions.

Unfortunately I didn't have a great putting day. I really struggled on the greens and missed quite a few short putts that prevented me from shooting a score around par. But I actually enjoy the challenge of playing in these conditions.

Q. Is that a mental challenge more than anything else?
PHIL MICKELSON: That's part of it, but just the challenge of hitting shots you don't normally hit. I enjoyed it. But like I say, I gave too many shots away on the greens. That was the difficult part for me.

And granted, it's tough, putting on the greens with the wind, but I should have putted a lot better.

Q. If conditions stay this way, it will be quite a test over the weekend, isn't it?
PHIL MICKELSON: I hope it does. I think it's fun. Like I say, I enjoy it because it's a golf course that accommodates these weather conditions. The fairways are wide. The greens are a fair width. They are not overly contoured. You can run shots up. When you get downwind, you have plenty of room short of the green to run a ball on.

I just think that it's a very good golf course and it's designed to play in all conditions and it's very playable in these conditions.

Q. But fair?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think so, yeah. The greens weren't overly fast to where balls were rolling when you were putting. They weren't; they were very fair. I thought it was a fair test. A score around par would have been a good score. I felt like I gave three or four shots away on the greens that could have put me at a score around par.

Q. It's playing three shots tougher this afternoon. That's the sort of thing that can happen on the links. You got the wrong side of the draw, didn't you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, today. But who is to say tomorrow afternoon, it doesn't become horrific and we end up getting the good side. You just never know.

Q. You've played a lot of golf in a lot of difficult conditions, how tough was the challenge today at Castle Stuart?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was difficult but it wasn't unfair by any means. I think again, this course is designed to accommodate weather conditions like this. The fairway width is very wide and fair under these conditions. The greens are receptive. You can run shots up. There's plenty of room in front of the greens to run shots up.

I think it's a very fair test. In fact, I think it's fun to play this course in these conditions. A score around par was a good score this afternoon. I felt like I played well enough to do that but I struggled on the greens today. I didn't putt very well and it cost me three or four shots that prevented me from shooting around par.

Q. You mentioned the greens; a lot of players were backing off putts because of the wind. How much did that affect you on the greens?
PHIL MICKELSON: Certainly the wind was the biggest challenge to putting. I made a putt on the third hole that would normally be a ball outside the left edge. I played it three inches outside the right edge because it was a direct cross-wind putt. The wind does affect it quite a bit.

But the greens weren't overly fast and the balls weren't rolling on the greens. Not like the U.S. Open; you get a five-mile-an-hour wind at the U.S. Open and the ball is rolling on the greens. Whereas here, they let the greens be slow and accommodate it.

I thought it was a fun, fair test. I enjoy coming over here and playing stuff like this, especially with a golf course that allows you to, it doesn't beat you up under these conditions.

Q. Because of your history of success around Castle Stuart, how good do you feel about the next three rounds and putting something together?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I wasn't disappointed with a lot of the shots that I hit. But I let too many shots go around the greens, and so I'll have to improve on that. And granted, it's challenging, but still, you've got to make some of those short putts that I missed today. And if I do that, I should have a good round. I'm hoping that it's like this the next three rounds. I think it's fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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