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October 31, 2002

Phil Mickelson


Q. When was the last time you played with Tiger in a Tour event?

PHIL MICKELSON: I can't remember this year. We played a few times this year.

Q. How bad was the wind? How confusing did it get?

PHIL MICKELSON: It was tough, but everybody had to play it. You know, it just got a little difficult the last hour or so when you had to putt into the sun. That putt on 16, I was kind of blinded. I know Tiger was blinded on his putt on 18.

Other than that, everybody had to play the same conditions. It was, I thought, a fair test because we had lift, clean and place. The wind was not that bad. I just didn't drive it very well so I was fortunate to shoot what I did. Unfortunately I didn't finish very strong.

Q. What was your statement on 1?

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, just a little levity. She was reading a whole paragraph and I just decided to put her off, I guess. I didn't realize all that stuff had taken place this year, all of those victories. That was pretty impressive.

Q. Were the pins tough for a Thursday?

PHIL MICKELSON: They were fair. I didn't find them overly difficult, no. I thought they were fair. We had some easy ones, some hard ones.

Q. Two-part question if I may. I know you and Tiger were looking forward to playing with each other, and I know you guys -- this is going to be ridiculous, were you thinking about each other when you are out there playing?


Q. Were you thinking about each other?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, not really. I find that I enjoy playing with Tiger, but when I do play with him, for me to play well, I can't watch him swing or play. Because he hits the ball so hard, and has a different flight trajectory, it's better if I just don't watch, so I very rarely watch him make a swing. Even though he's got a beautiful swing, I just find it better for me not to watch.

Q. You have to be a little happy with your position. You've got three more rounds to go, and lately, I know you like to be out of the box fast, but you are still playing your game on a course that suits you.

PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not disappointed with the round today. I did like the finish which I can check. I felt like I gave three shots back the last four holes. But other than that, I was getting a lot out of the round today for the way I was putting the ball in play. I didn't hit too many fairways even though we were just off the edge.

I feel that tomorrow, until the middle of the back, teeing off about an hour and a half earlier, playing with, I believe, David Toms, he and I kind of feed off each other and play well when we play together so I expect that either one of us, if not both of us, should have a good day tomorrow.

Q. Were you surprised to see the ball sail the way it did?

PHIL MICKELSON: Not really. On 18 I was just trying to ease into it and I held onto it. I felt if I released the club it was going to sail over the green but I was right in between 3-wood and 2-iron there.

Q. Were the pins about as tough as they have ever played? That's what everybody is saying.

PHIL MICKELSON: That was not something that crossed my mind. I thought there were a lot of pins that were very accessible.

There were some tough ones (inaudible) certainly, the cosmetics of it are not very spectacular. But, it's been something I've been working on for two years now. What's so great about it is it is back-weighted. 80 percent, 90 percent of the weight is in the back and what happens it the face, when the weight reaches the bottom of the arc, the face is actually working upwards. So I am making contact on an upward angle of ascent. And we found that I can go to a zero degree or negative two-degree lofted putter and the ball is rolling immediately off the base without any skid and it is not being beat into the ground; it is actually launching up and over. So consequently every putt tracks like it is on a rail, and if I just get it on line, it seems to go in. So that's why I went to it because I felt my performance with it would be much better.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: I enjoy playing with him. I enjoy playing with him because I respect his game and I know that if I stay somewhere near his score, I'll be somewhere near the lead, most likely, and so there are a lot of pluses to it.

I don't know what else to say. I mean, I enjoyed the day.

Q. Do you feel physically well enough to enjoy it out there today?

PHIL MICKELSON: I felt like it was going to be a struggle towards the end, and I think possibly, that led to giving a couple of shots back until the end.

The front nine, I felt okay. I felt fine all day. I just lacked a little energy as the day wore on. But I played okay.

Q. Do you know the gender?

PHIL MICKELSON: We will in a couple of weeks.

Q. Do you have a number of kids in mind or are you playing it by ear?

PHIL MICKELSON: We don't know. This will be our third. We'll see how that goes.

End of FastScripts....

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