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August 26, 2000

Phil Mickelson


Q. Is there something encouraging you can take out of this round?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, you see, you're looking at it different than the way I'm looking at it. You're looking at it in relation to another player's score. I'm looking at it in relation to the golf course and par, and I was 4-under par, which is what I had been shooting the first two rounds. I had putted what I thought -- pretty atrociously, and I missed a bunch of very makeable birdie putts. And to finish the way I did, 3-putting that short distance and losing three shots to par is what is upsetting me. It is not so much how many shots I am behind the leader, but I turned a good, solid 4-under par round, with a bunch of missed birdie putts, into a 1-under par round, and it is a sick feeling.

Q. What happened with the 3-putt?

PHIL MICKELSON: You saw it. I don't know how else to say. You could probably tell better watching from the outside than from where I was at.

Q. Is it more difficult to play this golf course when you do have Tiger shooting birdie-eagle-birdie coming out of the gate?

PHIL MICKELSON: It's really not. It's not. In fact, it is encouraging to see that you can make -- you can make a lot of birdies and go way low. The fact that he ends up the first three holes, played those 4-under, shows me that the golf course is very susceptible to under-par scoring. And so, I don't think that makes it more difficult. I think that makes it a little bit easier to visualize and see under-par scores.

Q. You were saying yesterday in there that when people say, "Well, can a tournament be over after 36 holes?" And you said, "What do you mean over? I'm only down five or six strokes." After three holes today, I think you were down 11 strokes. Did you look at it then as "I can't catch him, I've just got to play for the best score I can get"?

PHIL MICKELSON: Again, I think that people watching on television or yourself or other people asking these questions are looking at it in how I stand in relation to the leader, and that's not how I'm looking at it. I'm looking at it as far as how I was playing, and I was eating par through four holes; I would have liked to have been 1- or 2-under. That would have been nice. In relation to Tiger, I still would have been three shots back. But you're looking at it compared to another player. I don't look at it like that. I look at it how I'm compared to the course and what I expect out of myself score-wise. And I thought that for the way I felt on the greens and some of the opportunities I let slide by, if I could have finished up with a 3- or 4-under par round, it would have been great. I would not have been disappointed with that at all. Even if Tiger shot 62, even if he shot 72, it doesn't factor into the way I feel about my game and my scoring.

End of FastScripts....

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