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February 3, 2017

Phil Mickelson

Scottsdale, Arizona

Q. Your overview of the round and how you didn't finish the way you wanted.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it sucks, finishing with two bogeys. I got off to kind of a slow start and got it to turn at 1-under, which is good, and had it going there for a while on the front. Unfortunately bogeyed a couple coming in, but I'm playing well and looking forward to the weekend.

The course is a lot of harder than it has been in the past. The rough is a little bit thicker. I think we're not going to have those really low rounds since the redesign that we had many years ago where 20-under wins.

I should be within striking distance. If you play really good golf, you can still shoot 6-, 7-, 8-under par. There's no reason why I couldn't get it going tomorrow and be in it.

Q. Do you wish you could still go really low on this course like you used to where you see all that excitement, especially on the back?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't really know. I mean, you're always looking for that mixture of challenging and birdies, and I always like making the hard holes harder and the easy holes easier. Then you get a really good mixture of both. Finding that balance is always a tough thing to do.

Q. Could you talk us through the 8th hole, what you had, where you hit the driver?
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't really have much. I was trying to get something that would cut it. It was sitting in the rough. The only play was to pitch out, but that's not really, you know, what I like to do.

Q. Talk about your work on your flexibility, enabling your swing to stay long and loose.
PHIL MICKELSON: As you get older, it's a little bit more work. It's more work in the gym. But I have been fortunate to have a very good trainer, John Cochran, for 14 years now who has stayed up on many of the new techniques and is really focused on the stabilizing muscles of the knee, back, the shoulder, as opposed to building bulk. That has allowed me to maintain flexibility and longevity.

Q. On this course, these fans, it's a course you could really shoot low this weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON: It is a course that still has a lot of birdie opportunities out there. The energy from the people out here is second to none, and if you get on a roll, that can really propel a nice little run.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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