Q. Do you find yourself, Phil, how do you block that out next week and do you find yourself thinking a little bit about next week even while you were out there on this course?
PHIL MICKELSON: When I am playing I really haven't been looking ahead too much. Even during the tournament I have not been looking ahead although that's the tournament that we're all trying to gear up for, but what I look at is this is a tournament where if I can play well, if I can work hard on my game and get it ready, perform well this week, that's my best way to prepare for next week.
Q. I think it was last year after The Masters you finished double digits under par; had a great tournament someone else did a little better. How have you dealt with those in the last year; how has your game progressed in the interim?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I felt like last year was a big year for me because I played at a consistent level week-in and week-out. When it came down to on Sunday I had a couple of swings that I wanted to do over and a couple of misses and I felt like I have addressed that with a little bit of practice with Rick, and a little bit of finetuning in my equipment that I have been able to eliminate certain miss shots. So I feel like I have -- towards the latter part of the year I started to play even better than I did the start of the year.
So this year with the golf course being the way it is, I am much more confident heading into Augusta than any year because I feel like there are a handful of players that have a distinct advantage of being able to hit the ball past certain dog-legs, and I may not be the longest player out on Tour, certainly I can't keep it up with guys like to Tiger or Daly, but I feel like I have enough length to get it around the turns on some critical holes and have a reasonable iron into the green to get the ball stopped. Those greens have a tendency of getting so firm that when you are hitting anything more than an 8-iron, it's very hard to get the ball high and soft enough and get it stopped. So if guys are hitting 3 -, 4-, 5-irons into some of the greens and I am able to hit seven or eight, I feel like I have a distinct advantage.
Q. Do you feel like that if you keep putting yourself in position to win that inevitably it's going to drop off and lay in your lap as far as the majors?
PHIL MICKELSON: I do feel as though if I -- in a sense that if I continue to put myself in position it will eventually happen. The way I looked at it the last year I put myself in position to win a lot of tournaments and did not push myself to go low enough on Sunday. My conscious thought this year is that when I have a shot at it on Sunday I am going to do everything I can to win the tournament. Whereas -- and I thought that was evident at the Bob Hope where I birdied the last three holes to get into a playoff. I tried to push the throttle all the way down, whereas last year, I felt like I was getting myself in position, but I wasn't really pushing myself to finish it off. I felt like I was a little bit passive towards the end of the tournament and this year I am trying to make a conscious effort not to do that, to be -- to try to finish it off the way I was able to at the Hope and the way I tried to at Bay Hill even though the outcome wasn't what I wanted. For the most part that's what I am trying to do this week, so that if I do get in that position in a major, I am hoping to be able to get it done.
Q. Your last 3 rounds at THE PLAYERS weren't what you wanted. Was it important for you to get a low round in today, a low number like today?
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't really put too much emphasis on it. I certainly wanted to play well. I had been playing well heading in. I knew I had worked on my game and I knew I was ready to play. I think it's more important to play four consistent solid rounds than it is to play one great round, so although I am off to a good start I don't feel like by any means I feel -- that comforts me. I feel like for me to be really confident I'd like to play four solid rounds.
Q. When you were talking about the wind and judging the wind, is there something about the terrain here that makes that more difficult than other places or is it always a challenge?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's always a challenge but when we have open space without tree tops, it is easier to identify what the wind is because it's more consistent but as we get tree tops with these tall pines and different heights on the pine trees the wind tends to swirl and we have down-draft and up-draft, and the wind seems to come around in circles and so that's what is the most challenging part because it's not a consistent wind where you can adjust and play for it. You have to judge it right, guess it right, and even then it's not a sure thing, there's no way to guarantee that you judged the wind right which is why No. 12 at Augusta has always played so hard because you can't really feel the wind where you are teeing off and the ball reaches its peak or apex, that's where the wind is swirling the most.
TODD BUDNICK: Thank you, Phil.
PHIL MICKELSON: Thanks.
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