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July 28, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Springfield, New Jersey

Q. Give us your thoughts on Round 1 here.
PHIL MICKELSON: Thoughts on Round 1, the first 11 holes were very disappointing. I've been playing very well at the British and in my preparation, and to come out hit shots like I hit those first 11 holes was very disappointing. However, I'm proud that I hung in there, fought and got three back coming in. I'm in a position where I know I'm playing well. If I go out tomorrow and just play a good round, I think I can shoot mid 60s and get back in it and that's the goal.

Unfortunately, I didn't get off to a great start, like I did at the British. It's always easier. You shoot a good low number the first day, you've got momentum. You are not trying to play catch up. I put myself in a position today where although I have to go at least the opportunity to go out and shoot a round tomorrow and get back in it.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was excited to play and compete again and not have to have a month off for preparation. Unfortunately, I don't do well not playing the week before. I do much better when I'm playing the week before a major. You kind of saw it today. I hit terrible shots the first 11 holes.

I'm pleased that I was able to turn it around though and make some coming in.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: Just quick from the top. Just lost focus. Just antsy, little jumpy, just lost the rhythm and made some terrible swings. There's no real answer. The game has been very easy and the first 11 holes was very hard.

To make bogey on 18, which is you're really only good birdie hole, just threw away a lot of shots. I played really well the last seven holes to get back in it and I'm pleased with that. I'll do a little work. I've got some time before tomorrow's afternoon round to get things sharp.

Q. How are you deciding when to go conventional with your putter?
PHIL MICKELSON: Length of stroke usually.

Q. Is there any (no microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: The longer the stroke, the more likely I'll be conventional. The shorter the stroke, the more likely I'll use the claw. Because taking that bottom hand off gets rid of some of the extra energy.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, could have been terrible. I was 4 over through 11 holes. I've got -- I'm playing a very difficult hole No. 3, which is usually the hardest hole out here. I was able to make birdie there. That was a big birdie. I hit two really good shots. If I miss that fairway, I probably have to lay up and fight for par again. Instead I hit a really good drive, a good 8-iron to 15, 18 feet behind the hole and made it. That kind of got things going.

I made two good putts on 6 and 7.

It's not the start I wanted. It's not indicative of how I'm playing. But I'm back to where tomorrow, if I play the way I've been playing I should be okay.

Q. Does it usually take a good shot, a good birdie to turn your whole day around?
PHIL MICKELSON: When you get into a major championship and the penalty for a miss is severe, it's very easy to steer it, try to control it and not swing freely. That was what I did early on today, I kind of steered a lot of shots. I didn't swing freely. I was quick from the top. My rhythm wasn't great. All of that is try to control the results rather than just swinging the way I've been swinging and playing the game. Took me a little while, I kind of got into the flow there towards the end.

I hit six out of seven fairways on my second nine. Stuff like that. That's the stuff I need to do and not be so inpatient. I've got to be more patient.

Q. The win in '05, how much did that memory help you (no microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'll tell you what was a big thing for me today was the people out here, the crowd. Because after you're -- I was 4 over through 11 and I'm down, I'm hard on myself, I'm down. The people helped to really kind of pick me back up. I remember walking off of No. 3 and a guy said, Hey, you've got a lot of golf left, you're not out of this, let's get going. He's right. Got a lot golf left. I came back and made some birdies. Birdied that hole.

The support that the people here in New Jersey, New York, metropolitan area have given me over the years, today was the day that it helped the most, I think.

Q. What was the line like on 18?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was five or six inches from the rock wall, so I had to swing way to the right and try to open the face, which is why it went way to the right. So it wasn't a good lie, but I couldn't swing at the green.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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