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September 9, 2016

Phil Mickelson

Carmel, Indiana

Q. Talk about the start to the week for you.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I got off to a good start yesterday and made some birdies early on. I made a couple of bogeys or I made a mistake on the par-5 there. A terrible bogey there with a sand wedge in. I missed some fairways on that front nine and it led to me struggling there in the middle that have front nine.

But I turned with a birdie on 9 and I drove it fairly well on the back coming in. And that gave me an opportunity to be aggressive and make some birdies.

Q. How does the swing feel?
PHIL MICKELSON: It feels pretty close. This is a good swing here. If you notice that club is right back on plane and through. I had been getting a little bit flat going back, a little vertical coming down and I roasted a 6-iron there. I had 212 and there's a down slope right where my ball landed and I was able to get it just to the down slope and then it trickled on down and I was able to make a 2.

Q. Talk about the points system for the FedExCup.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's really gotten to a point where the points system and everything that they wanted to accomplish I think they have got it dialed in now. The first probably five years it was probably a lot of trial and error, but now it seems like they have it really dialed in, as far as giving guys a chance to win the FedExCup if you win the TOUR Championship, and the top-5 guys control their own opportunities to win it and you don't have to rely on anybody else. And yet, if you play well throughout the season, you are still rewarded by getting into the TOUR Championship. So I thought they have a pretty good bead on it right now.

Q. Talk about the upcoming Ryder Cup.
PHIL MICKELSON: The whole goal for us is to give the players an opportunity to succeed, put them in an opportunity to be successful, as opposed to giving them challenges to overcome. And the way you do that is eliminate the variables, eliminate the obstacles that cause pressure. For instance, who are you going to play with. What matches are you going to play. What holes are you golf course to tee off on. What ball are you going to play. You cannot decide that 30 minutes before the tee time. You got to decide that 30 days before the tee time, so that you know how to prepare properly heading in. You can prepare with your partner, you can be ready, and eliminate a lot of the uncertainty which ultimately causes pressure.

Now, it doesn't mean the result is going to be win, lose, whatever, what it does is it gives us a chance to play our best golf and puts us in an opportunity to succeed and I believe that, with Davis Love's leadership and his knowledge from 2012, as well as some input from players and other vice captains that have experience in these cups, I think that everybody's knowledge base put together will give players this year an opportunity to play their best. Doesn't mean we're going to win, but it means we're going to have an opportunity to bring out our best golf.

Q. Great finish, almost four in a row this morning. That's I guess the way how you want to finish out an opening round.
PHIL MICKELSON: It is. I played well today and got off to a good start and had a little bit of trouble the front nine yesterday so to come back out this morning and hit the ball in the fairways, be able to be aggressive into the greens and I made a couple of putts, it's nice to get myself in a good position after the first round.

Q. What's the game plan this afternoon? A few more fairways and keep the putter hot?
PHIL MICKELSON: That's really the goal, is that the most important shot out here is the tee shot, because the penalty off the fairway is very severe. The rough is thick, the lies can be very difficult, and the greens don't offer opportunities to run shots up. So you have got to be in the fairway and when I did that on the back nine, this morning, I was able to play under par. Yesterday, when I was missing fairways I played over par. So I've got to get it in play off the tee.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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