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January 20, 2017

Phil Mickelson

La Quinta, California

Q. Not sure if you were even going to be able to enter the tournament, you put yourself into contention.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's been a fun two days. There's no better way to judge where your game is at than to come out and play. And the great thing about this course and starting here in Palm Springs at the CareerBuilder Challenge is that the courses give you a chance to get away with a few shots. I hit a lot more good shots today than I did yesterday, but I'm still hitting some really bad ones. And that's fine, it's to be expected, I knew that was going to happen, but I've been able to kind of manage those and get away with some pars and make just a very few number of bogeys.

Q. Now, there's no way this course was forgiving on the way in your last three holes.
PHIL MICKELSON: No, it was really hard. It was really hard in these conditions and I actually made some birdies in these conditions, so I felt very fortunate that, with the score that I had, in this weather. The back nine I played some really good golf.

Q. Stadium Course? Your thoughts?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited the fact that tomorrow the weather's supposed to be perfect. That will be very helpful. Because that's a penalizing golf course. You hit it off line there, it can be extremely penalizing. But there's plenty of room off the tee and around the greens to get away with it, if you have slightly less than perfect.

Q. How big has your scrambling ability been these first two rounds?
PHIL MICKELSON: My short game has been something I've been able to work on and it's not anywhere near as rusty as the other parts of my game. I hit a lot of good chip shots and holed a bunker shot and had some good opportunities where it saved me from some poor swings. But again, I feel like I'm improving quite a lot from each day when I started almost a week ago last Saturday. Each day's gotten progressively better and better and better and better. And I'm hitting more and more good shots each day and fewer really bad ones and, hopefully, I'll continue that into the weekend.

Q. Speaking of that bunker shot, did you know right way?
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't, because I was so far down I couldn't see the ball. But I saw the people behind the pin jump up and was surprised that it had gone in.

Q. Is that about as close as you can get to the bottom of the cup on 7 there?
PHIL MICKELSON: That was -- you mean the par-5?

Q. Yeah.
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm missing it. What do you mean?

Q. When you lipped out there.
PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, the short putt? Yeah, unfortunately, I didn't play enough break on that one and kind of threw my string of birdies, consecutive birdies off. That would have been the fourth one and I missed that 4- or 5-footer, which is disappointing. But other than that, I had a really good back nine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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