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March 24, 2017

Phil Mickelson

Austin, Texas

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: If Daniel had won and I had lost, we would be in a playoff, yeah.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, I don't like playing against J.B. I like playing with J.B. I like it when he's my teammate at the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup. He's really become such a great player. He's got the ability to overpower a golf course. He's got the ability to finesse around it. He's got all the shots. I think it's difficult to come out when you don't have a chance to move on to be at your absolute best and I knew that I needed to be at my best to play against him. I didn't make a bogey today, so I didn't make any mistakes, but I also didn't light it up. I just played a solid round.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's important here because I find that you can make a lot of easy pars here, but it's very difficult to make birdies. It's difficult to get to a lot of pins, but it's pretty easy to get to the green and two putt. Getting ahead allowed me to play from the center of the green and work the ball to the hole and make a putt rather than trying to attack holes.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: It is, yeah. It's a concern and it's a concern not having a match go to the last hole or two that -- because I know they will this weekend. But the positive is that I've been able to conserve energy as we head into the weekend because there's potential for four matches if you win them all. I'm not jumping the gun, but there's potential there. Energy could always be an issue for any player. Being able to conserve some is a good thing.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't. I haven't played since last year. I know I will. I know that that's not a smart thing, but to not go out there and hit chips and so forth but I would rather conserve energy and go.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that although each match I've hit one or two bad drives, I've driven the ball well. From the fairway, I've been able to utilize my iron play and hit some good iron shots.

The other thing too is that I become much more efficient or much improved in the last two years inside six, eight feet with my putter. I have not let shots like that go. For instance, No. 12 today against J.B. It's a four and a half, five footer, little bit of turn right to left. I'm rolling those in consistently now and I think that's been a real factor in my play this week.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: A lot of work, a lot of hard work. Yeah, I spent hours arched hours working on it the last few years. I had a dry spell where I did not putt the way I wanted to. Last year I led the Tour until the last few weeks inside ten feet, which was my goal. That's from spending hours and practicing. The whole thing, drills and technique and putter and roll, alignment, all the details of it. I really spent a lot of time on it. I've become much more efficient in that area.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the thing about those is that you cannot -- you can't press for the full amount. You have to win the match. What I find is that if you are down two three or four, you fight to get back in it. That translates into a tougher mentality in events like this or in the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup because you can't just call out press and get it back. You have to win the 18-hole match. So from the start every hole is important.

Q. (No microphone)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've said earlier, I think he's one of ten best players in the world. If you look at the World Ranking, he's ranked 25th. He's been out on Tour for seven months and his divisor is the same for a two-year divisor. If you divide it by the actual number of events he's played, he's in the Top 10 in the world. He continues to validate that with some incredible play. Right now he does. Right now he does, yeah. He's a real threat.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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