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June 17, 2004

Phil Mickelson


Q. This is a pretty good spot to be in.

PHIL MICKELSON: Certainly a being a couple under par in an Open is a fun spot to be. I've got a few holes left and probably the toughest hole on the course to sleep on and worry about, but it's been a good start so far.

Q. Did things go pretty much according to the game plan?

PHIL MICKELSON: For the most part. I had a couple of tee shots slide a few yards off the fairway, but I was okay and had some decent lies and was able to make pars.

I'm pleased in the fact that it's not been a hard round as far as up-and-downs. I've been able to keep it in control and make some two-putt pars.

Q. Talk about the putting before the break, before you guys went into the break.

PHIL MICKELSON: Came back and made the first one when I got back out after the rain delay, so it was okay. I think that I was just a little bit tentative maybe.

Q. Was the course there for the taking in general, relative to what it can be like?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, no question, today was the day for scoring because the pin placements weren't Sunday pins, the wind wasn't blowing, and granted, the course was extremely hard and fast, but we saw a lot of guys at or under par, which won't happen as the week wears on, I believe.

Q. Generally, again, you seem to be very peaceful out there, very comfortable and really enjoying the environment, same as you did at The Masters.

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I'm just loving playing golf right now, and I love playing in the New York area. I had an awesome experience in '02 at Bethpage, the people here are incredible and it's been a lot of fun.

Q. You seem to be like a Long Island native. You're head and shoulders above in crowd support.

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, that's nice. Thank you.

Q. As soon as you knocked your chip off the pin on 5 --

PHIL MICKELSON: These are optimum conditions to score in. The greens were very bumpy when we played, but when we came back out, after the rain had knocked out some spike marks and smoothed them out, they were putting very true, and for lack of wind, I wanted to get as many holes in as possible today. I hope it doesn't blow for us tomorrow to finish up but that's very unlikely. It'll probably start out long tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible).

PHIL MICKELSON: No. 7 is by far the hardest hole out here.

Q. At Bethpage people were really behind you, but it seems like they're even more behind you now. Did you feel that?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. It's just been a lot of fun playing here. I love playing in front of the New York crowd, I love how sports-knowledgeable everybody is. They have some of the funniest one-liners I've heard. I've been laughing all day, so it's been very enjoyable.

Q. Can you tell us the best one?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the best one I've heard was at Bethpage in '02 when Tanaka hit a shot over the 9th green, and he was right by the television microphone so he picks it up to move it, and as he's picking it up, one of the guys yells out, "Hey, Tanaka, how about a little Karaoke?" Just funny. I'm really entertained. I think it's very funny.

End of FastScripts.

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