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July 30, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Springfield, New Jersey

Q. Here in this New York, New Jersey area, every hole, 7,500 to 10,000 spectators yelling your name. What is that like? What does that feel like?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know how to explain the incredible feeling it is to play here in this area, to have the people be as supportive and as kind and loyal as they've been to me and my family over the years. It's my favorite place to play.

When things aren't going well, they get me back on track and give me that little extra energy boost. When things are going well, they push to even greater heights. I wish I had been playing well. Later in the day, getting in contention, it's really something to behold. I'm hopeful that even though it's not happening this week, in five or six weeks when we come back for Barclays at Bethpage Black, I'm hopeful to put it all together there.

Q. Talk about the way you battled back. Triple bogey yesterday on the first hole and you fought you way back and played some pretty solid golf.
PHIL MICKELSON: I have been playing really well heading into this tournament, and that's my expectations have been raising and it's been hard for me to show down and get back into the one-shot-at-a-time mentally.

I've been shooting such low scores in preparation that I thought I was going to come out and light this thing up. I started steering it. I started losing some of the feel with the swing. Fortunately, after we started I was able to find it. I hit a lot of good shot and slow back down, make the cut, play under par from there on out.

The golf course is susceptible to very low scoring. There is a low 60s round. I think somebody is going to break that 63 record in these next two days. The greens are pristine. You can make a lot of putts. They are soft, so you can get the ball very close. I think that there's that 61 or 62 out there that I was probably trying to chase a little too hard.

Q. I was walking with you at Troon, the 62 and a half that you had. You think somebody could go low here?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think it will be broke in the next two days. I would be surprised it wasn't. I just think that it's playing, the course is playing to where you can fly 6, 7, 8 irons at the hole, it's going to stop right there. That's the challenge of Baltusrol is the greens, and when they are soft that challenge and difficulty is negated. All that extra roll and runoff is not coming into the play.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: The rain really changed the way it's played. It's taken a lot of the fire and speed out of the greens. It's always softened the fairways to where the ball will stay in the fairways. You are going to hit a lot of fairways. The ability to hit 6, 7, 8-irons at the pin and have the ball stop is taking away the challenge of the greens. The challenge of the greens are about how much contour is on them and the ball is running away from the hall. When you are able to fly it at the hole and stop it, that is negated.

Q. Why are you trying to so hard to make the cut? Why is that important to you?
PHIL MICKELSON: I love the challenge. I love the challenge of trying to play at the highest level. I love the challenge of trying to compete out here. I love the opportunity. I was excited about the opportunity to play with Rory and Jason. I thought that I had put in a lot of work in the last year. I was excited where my game was at. I've been shooting some really low scores in the last week or two, not just from the British but from there to here. I really thought I was going to go out and light it up.

I put a little bit too much pressure on myself and forced it a little bit. I needed to take a step back and be a little more patient. This was a good opportunity to put it together, even though I got off to a bad start yesterday.

Q. After what happened at Troon, were you afraid that you would play well and great and somehow wouldn't be enough, so you needed to play --
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think that was it. I just think that my expectations had grown. They've really gone up a lot since the British and since I started to play at that level that I'm kind of forcing the issue rather than letting it happen the way I did there.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I was saying earlier I think that that major record of 63 will be broken today or tomorrow. I think there's a 61 or 2 out there. It's par 70. The greens are pristine, warm and beautiful and they are soft. So just a lot of birdie holes.

Q. What are your expectations now?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's getting back to the same. I fell through a tough two or three-year stretch where I wasn't in control of my game. I wasn't in control of my ball striking and I struggled a little bit with the putter and now all those things are starting to come back together. Now I'm starting to gain some confidence in my ball striking. I'm starting to putt. I've had a very good putting year, so my expectations are pretty high.

Q. Are you going to start making some of these college visits with Amanda?
PHIL MICKELSON: We have been on a lot. I've been to some. We've been on over 20, I think. It was a very educational experience.

Q. What did you learn from all that?
PHIL MICKELSON: What have I learned? I guess there's just a lot of great places to go and the key is finding the right fit for each individual.

Q. Is there such a thing of wanting it to much?
PHIL MICKELSON: There is. Yeah, there is. It's difficult. Because you try a little bit too hard and then you don't play free. You don't swing the way you want. You get inpatient on the course. You try to force the issue a number of times rather than letting it kind of happen. That seems to be what's happening to me the last couple of days.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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