home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 9, 2004

Phil Mickelson


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Masters Champion Phil Mickelson. Thanks for joining us. I know you have a busy schedule playing in the 1:30 Pro-Am so we'll go straight into questions.

Q. When you hear that introduction, Masters champion, can you talk about what it sounds like to you and how it's changed your life?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it sounds terrific. I just love hearing it. It's been cool and it's been a lot of fun, but things really haven't changed I would say for us over the last two months. It's been exciting, a fun time, an exciting time, but I haven't felt like things have been astronomically different other than signing a lot of yellow flags.

Q. Is your routine at all different this week as a result of the fact that the U.S. Open is next week?

PHIL MICKELSON: I've found that the preparation I had for Augusta paid off this year, and so I'm trying to incorporate that preparation into this upcoming major at Shinnecock. So I flew in last week and spent the last three days, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, over there learning the course, playing the course, which is what I did for Augusta. It gave me a couple of weeks heading in so I don't have to do all the work that's required in the three days leading into the Open.

I feel like I'm heading into the tournament with a better mindset of how I want to play the course, certain holes and so forth. I'm trying to take what was successful at Augusta and apply it to upcoming majors.

Q. When you're on the range or when you've been playing this week, are you visualizing shots or thinking about shots you're going to need at Shinnecock?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, Westchester Country Club is a wonderful place for us to get ready for a U.S. Open because it is very similar to what a U.S. Open test is with the thick rough, tight fairways, undulating greens, small greens, fallaways. It's very similar to sin cock, the difference is there will be no wind but because the greens are soft here - and I haven't played so I don't know that - but in years past, the low shots that we would hit to take some of the spin off are the same shots that we'll hit into the wind over at Shinnecock.

Q. In the past you had kind of a serious demeanor playing golf at The Masters, and after that you seem to smile, more relaxed and enjoy it more. Can you talk about a conscious change of attitude and if so how that's played into the way you've played better?

PHIL MICKELSON: Sunday at Augusta I had a lot of fun and was enjoying the day and letting it soak in as it was happening, and in years past I would find I would play that way the first three rounds, get in contention and when Sunday came I would try to turn the switch on and try to be real focused and real intense, but it wasn't the way I play my best, so I tried to play on Sunday the same way I did the first three rounds which was just relaxing and having a great time. I was paired with Chris DiMarco and we were able to have great conversations throughout the day. I enjoyed the day as it was occurring. I didn't feel the stress of the situation.

Q. Have you carried it over now into a tournament like this?

PHIL MICKELSON: I hope so, yeah.

Q. When you were at Shinnecock over the weekend, was it similar to what you remember from '95?

PHIL MICKELSON: It was similar, but there was -- the one big difference is in '95 the rough would go right up to the edge of the green, where here, it is now shaved and it's fairway and it extends 10, 20, 30 yards in some spots so the ball continues to run away from the hole. Granted, you might have a good lie but because the ball is so far away from the hole and the greens are difficult it's not an easy up-and-down.

Q. Would that suit you, though, because of your short game?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I think that in '99 when I had a lot of success at Pinehurst it was similar conditions, so I do look forward to the shaved fairways and the opportunity to incorporate short game back into the U.S. Open test, whereas in the past it was a lot of hoping that the ball would come out the right way out of the rough.

Q. I know you're a real family man. I was wondering what it means to you to have your wife and kids with you day in and day out on the road?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it makes playing the Tour very enjoyable to be able to have my family with me. It would be very difficult on me if I was playing the Tour and they weren't with me, and as my oldest approaches first grade as she turns five here in another week or two, it's going to be a little bit different. My schedule will have to change and we'll have to make some changes in the upcoming years on playing schedule and so forth to accommodate the fact that they're going to start school and won't be able to travel every week.

Q. Normally we'd be asking you previously why haven't you won your first major yet. Now you've won your first major and you're going into your first major having won a major. What's the thought process and is it different than it was before?

PHIL MICKELSON: It's not different. My thought process heading into the U.S. Open is not really different than what it has been in previous majors but my preparation for it has been different. My preparation for Augusta this year was much more thorough so when I got there I had a clear-cut plan on how I was going to play each hole given certain pins, and I feel that I've done that work at the U.S. Open; I have a pretty good idea how I want to play the course, play certain holes with certain pins heading into the week rather than having to learn it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

Q. Do you feel like the pressure is less now because you've already won a major?

PHIL MICKELSON: I really didn't feel pressure even before I had won a major to win one. I felt that it was going to happen eventually. I really didn't ever waiver on that belief, I just didn't know when and the situation and what it was going to take. But now that I have won one, it's not as though I feel pressure to win another one, it's as though I have a better understanding of what it takes to win one.

Q. In terms of going out to the Open next week, had the joy that you experienced after The Masters and the spoils that kind of come with it for the short period of time you had a chance to enjoy it before going back, does that make you a little thirstier and hungrier to get that feeling again? Is it almost like a drug-like effect where you want to keep --

PHIL MICKELSON: I certainly have enjoyed this past Masters. I mean, it's been a lot of fun. The two months following it has been a lot of fun.

Obviously I want to win more majors. That was kind of my goal from the beginning, to not just win one. I want to use this as a way to learn how to win more, win others, and I've come very close in the U.S. Open. I'd like to learn how to break through in that particular event, as well.

I think the most challenging major for me to break through is going to be the British Open and I'm going to have to spend more time over there. But I would love to be able to get all four throughout my career. There's only been a few guys that have been able to do that. I think that that would be a real milestone, but I've only won one and I haven't even played another one yet and I don't want to look too far ahead.

I've got a lot of years left to be able to play competitively in the majors, and I want to make sure that I take advantage of each one of those opportunities.

Q. Is there any part of you that just is driven to feel that feeling that you felt on Sunday at Augusta, to try to --

PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't looked at it like that, that I want that feeling again. I was able to create a memory and an event that I'll look back on the rest of my career, the rest of my life, and I would certainly love to make more of those and have more of those victories. I'm trying very hard to do that.

Q. These two tournaments in New York here the next two weeks, can you talk a little bit about the relationship that developed at Bethpage with your New York fans and what your expectations might be at Shinnecock?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I love playing in New York. I think the people here are just incredible sports fans and they've treated me so wonderfully over the years. Bethpage was one of my fondest memories of the game. I love playing this tournament. Sometimes I haven't been able to because of scheduling but I love when I can play here because it's such a wonderful venue, golf course, the people here are great, and being able to go just up the road to Shinnecock and play two weeks, it's very easy on our traveling schedule and it's very nice to play in front of these sports-knowledgeable fans.

Q. Given the fact that you've now won your first major coupled with the fact that you've won a couple of times up the road in Connecticut in back-to-back years, it's got to be tough for your schedule to determine so far in advance where you're going to go, where you're going to play, but what do you think your chances are of coming back to Cromwell this year?

PHIL MICKELSON: To play Hartford?

Q. Yes.

PHIL MICKELSON: Obviously I want to get back there. I love the tournament. I've played well there, I won two years in a row and I want to get back. Scheduling I had to go more week to week than month to month as opposed to looking way out in the future. The difficulty that I'm going to have if I end up not playing will be because the PGA championship is in the middle of August and I play the week before. The week following the PGA is Akron, and then comes Hartford, so it would be four in a row and I've tried to cut back on playing four. The date changes made it tough.

Q. 2002 at Bethpage the fans did take a liking to you. Do you have any idea why it was that they adopted you in the way that they did, and do you expect that to continue this week and next week?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's got to be my looks (laughter). I don't know, it's just been very flattering. I don't know.

Q. You had talked weeks ago about maybe using a lot of irons off the tees at Shinnecock. Now that you've seen it, I'm just curious about how often you think you may use an iron as opposed to driver there.

PHIL MICKELSON: I won't use any irons there.

Q. Driver and 3-wood?

PHIL MICKELSON: Driver, 3-wood, 4-wood. A lot of holes I've found turn, a little dogleg turn and I found that the 4-wood was a little bit better than the 1-iron because it wasn't as hot. Even though there was wind it came in higher and softer and didn't run through the fairway. So I'll be using some 4-woods but I didn't see any holes where I'd be using irons.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Phil Mickelson, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297