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July 29, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Springfield, New Jersey

Q. Did you know where the cut line was?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I did. I hit two solid hybrids on the last of it to make the cut and to give me the chance to play the weekend. I'm having a difficult time right now managing my expectations, because I know how well I'm playing and I'm so result oriented that I'm not playing very relaxed, free golf like I did at the British, like I did in the preparation here.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to go out and not worry about the score and just play a good round because I've been hitting a lot of good shots. I just -- I'm trying to force the issue because I know you've got to get hot out here.

After just making the cut, I'm able to scale back my expectations for the week, enjoy the two days on the weekend and showcase just how well I have been playing. There's good chance it probably won't be enough, but still it's fun to play good golf.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think in the history of the PGA Championship, that's the worst start of any player's round. I'd have to look that up.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: Right here today? But it was probably after I did it. So I had it for a while. I had the worst start. I don't even know what to say. It was just a pure mental block. I striped it on the range. I've been driving it really, really straight. I can't say long because I can't even sniff Day and McIlroy in my group. Been hitting it really straight.

Just a total mental block on that first hole. And I don't even know what to say. It was just horrific. I was able to fight back and be patient from there on out, start to make a birdie here or there. I actually hit a lot of good shots and missed on a lot good opportunities in the middle of the round.

Q. How were the greens out there?
PHIL MICKELSON: They were actually a lot better. They rolled very good. I know that there are some brown spots. From a visual or elevated camera, it looks not smooth. Those greens were pristine on the weekend. They were all lush green. In an attempt to dry them out a little bit, some spots got brown, but they are just they are rolling perfect.

They are not like Pebble in 2010, where it was like a waffle iron. They are tracking and around the hole was startling smooth, as well. That was where most people are stepping you would expect there to be issues. I thought the conditions were spectacular, especially given the rain.

THE MODERATOR: Your driver got away from you a little bit (no microphone)? Seems like you made the best of it.

PHIL MICKELSON: The guy was holding his arm. He wouldn't let go of his arm. I was saying how in Ohio I tagged a guy from the head and he wasn't holding his head. He was just walking around like, look, it happens, it's okay, I'm cool with it. And this guy gets a little tiny ding on his arm and he's like not letting go. I roughed him up a little bit over that. I looked back he was still holding his arm. I don't know.

Q. You played with Rory and he just was up here pretty much distraught over a guy that feels like he hit the ball so well. Have you been in those situations before? How hard is that?
PHIL MICKELSON: We all have. We all have periods where we have mental blocks on the greens. Look at the tee shot. From my No. 1 and then the rest off the round I ended up hitting ten fairways today. After the first hole you think I had hit two maybe because I have done it so many times. It just happens. Sometimes you just have a mental block.

Right now he's just so tentative through impact. He's just not confident. You can just tell. You watch him with a driver and it's the sweetest thing you can imagine. It just goes through effortlessly with so much speed and power, and the ball just flies so long and true with such a tight flight pattern. He's just not striking his putts with the same confidence as he is his driver. That comes and goes. When he won his majors at U.S. Open and Congressional, I played him a couple of rounds there, he was just rolling it beautifully. Just rolling it beautifully. It's not that he's not capable. He's just having a period where he's not feeling it. He will get it back.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, he had a shot on 8 that was really cool to watch. I don't see many guys -- I haven't seen anybody with his power be able to hit that shot where we've got 86 yards, a back pin, it's soft and spinning and pitched. To take a club that usually goes about 125, hit it 40 yards less than the normal number and skid it in there and get the ball to not spin, his power and his wedge play coupled with his putting are combinations you don't see very often. He's a very gifted player.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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