Q. How many today?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I could go through them for you. 1 was a sand wedge.
And I count the par-5s as L wedges, too, because just like 18, I felt like
that was a short game shot. So I counted that.
I hit No. 2, par-3.
The par-5s, 6, I was just off the fringe and 2-putted.
8 was a sand -- a little L-wedge.
10 was a wedge.
11, par-5, I hit that in two.
13 was a long par. The par-5 -- on the last five holes -- 14 was a
little gap wedge. It wasn't the best, but it gave me a 10 -, 12-footer, it
was a good miss.
16, 17 and 18 were all wedges. So I guess, what, six, seven shots, six,
seven holes; not quite half, I would say. But most of the par-4s were
wedges, especially at Indian Wells or Tamarisk.
Q. Did you have more of those this week than you normally would have?
PHIL MICKELSON: Sure. For a couple of reasons. The other courses are
shorter than what we normally see on Tour. The rough was kept down, so we
could hit drivers on a lot of holes. And so the other courses, primarily we
were able to hit drivers and have a lot of wedges in.
Q. Given all of the practice you went through, as well as you felt like
you were hitting the ball, did you still surprise yourself in any facet this
PHIL MICKELSON: Not necessarily, no. I really felt sharp. I had spent --
I spent time with Rick Smith two weeks ago, got the fundamentals down, got
the changes we wanted to implement in place, and I felt I was able to
support them with some increased strength.
And I came early to spend time at the Dave Pelz short game school, and got
my short game sharp, putting. I had to rely on my caddy, Bones, for reading
the greens this week, because he grew up on bermuda, I did not, and he has a
better read for them.
Once he gives me the line, I'm able to see it. But he's got to give it to
me because I see two or three different lines on every putt. So I give a
lot of credit to him, not only did he pull a lot of great clubs this week,
but he read the greens this week.
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't feel like it. I was excited to get back in
competitive golf. I don't feel like I was that far removed. It's only five
months. It's not that long. I've played golf for 29, 30 years. It's not
like I'm going to forget how. I just had to get sharp and I felt like I put
in the time and effort to do that.
Q. Is the player that can't drive it 280, 290, 300, is that player getting
left behind in this game now as courses are getting longer?
PHIL MICKELSON: I wouldn't say that he's left behind. I think he's at a
severe disadvantage. It won't really show in certain events. It won't show
in the U.S. open, let's say, where you can only hit it 265, 270 before the
fairway cuts off so, that won't really make a difference.
On a lot of Tour-quality courses we'll have holes where if you can carry
280, 285 you might be able to hit to a little wider fairway or you'll be
able to have wedges in. And that's pretty much the goal right now is to
drive the ball long and straight so that you can hit wedges out of the
fairway. You're going to be able to attack every pin.
If you're hitting 5 -, 6 - 7-iron, you can tuck some pins and not be able
to shoot at them.
Q. Are you ready to play with Justin Timberlake next year?
PHIL MICKELSON: We'll see. I'll probably request to stay off of the
celebrity rotation and do what I did this year, which was to get some good
practice in and get some good work done. I don't know if I'll be able to,
as the defending champion.
Q. The last guy to win was Miller, a long time ago, since the guy has
PHIL MICKELSON: It's a year from now, I'll worry about it then.
JOAN vT ALEXANDER: Congratulations again, and thank you very much, Phil.
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