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September 25, 2002

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: I was pleased with the way I played the backside. It was frustrating not having a shot at winning, but to hit some shots the way I did and make a couple of putts, it was a good feeling

Q. Did you come out thinking you've got to go low in the front right away, be aggressive?

PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't think that. I didn't think that it was going to take ultimately what it took to win, because the greens were firm and I could tell that the course was playing more difficult. I thought that if I could shoot a couple under par the front side, I felt I could shoot a few more on the back. And if I could get to 12 or 13, I had a shot at winning. But Craig came out and played a great round, it looks like.

Q. Can you tell us about Craig Parry, for those who aren't familiar with him?

PHIL MICKELSON: I'll let you do your homework. You can look it up in the media guides.

Q. Can you talk about the kind of player he is?

PHIL MICKELSON: He's a solid player, which keeps the ball in play, which certainly helped this week. He hits a soft cut every time. And it seems like the left side of the course is out of play for him. He has tremendous control off the tee. And when he gets the putter rolling, he's extremely difficult to beat. He might not knock it 3 feet every hole, but he gives himself a lot of 15, 20-footers, and when he's making some, he's tough to beat. With the greens firming up like they did over the weekend, nobody could get it at the pin, so it fit right in his game.

Q. What's your immediate schedule the next few weeks?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I'm scheduled to play Canada. I'm scheduled to play the World Golf Championship and the Ryder Cup. I'm not sure. It sounds like -- I believe that will stick, but I'm not sure.

Q. You had a chance to play a couple of rounds also here with the new kid on the block, 22-year-old Justin. What do you think of his game? I know you were focused on your own, but what did you like out there?

PHIL MICKELSON: I think Justin is a tremendous player, who hits the ball a long way. He has a very solid golf swing, and rolls it very well on the greens. He has a wonderful short game, good iron player, good distance control, good control off the tee. And I thought that he was very pleasant to be around. He was a very enjoyable individual, and I look forward to playing with and against him for many more years.

Q. Can you describe that eagle?

PHIL MICKELSON: On 11? I hit a driver and a 3-iron to 10 feet and made it for birdie.

Q. How did that feel at the time?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it didn't suck (laughter.) I played 5-over the first nine holes. And I missed a birdie on 10. So I felt like it was a chore for me to get going. And when the putt went in, it was a cool feeling to get two shots back, and I felt like with 18 being a par-5, I had a realistic shot at getting it back to even par if I could pick up two more. And there were a couple of birdie holes in there. So it was a momentum-building eagle that I desperately needed after the front side.

Q. Do you look forward to this golf tournament returning to Firestone next year?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the tournament has been a tremendous success, I believe, here at Sahalee, and I think the community supported it well. I think the Tour wants to do whatever they can to get a tournament here. I believe that taking the tournament from Akron, which is a community that supported the tournament for 30-plus years was a mistake. It's a wonderful golf course, and I know they've got the Senior PGA Championship, or what have you. But they've supported the PGA TOUR for decades now, and I thought it was wrong of us to leave.

End of FastScripts....

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