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June 1, 2017

Phil Mickelson

Dublin, Ohio

PHIL MICKELSON: It was perfect. But the wind was a little tricky because of the slight swirls. And so you saw some scores that were pretty low, guys that were able to read it well and hit solid shots. And then you also saw a lot of scores that were pretty high. It was a day that could have gone either way and I was right in the middle.

It wasn't a bad day. I feel like where I left shots out there was on the greens. I didn't make too many putts, but hit a lot of good shots.

Q. You talk about how perfect this place is, they have it exactly the way they want it as long as we don't get anymore weather. When it is this perfect, what does this course present as the biggest challenge?
PHIL MICKELSON: Speed of the greens to me is the most difficult. They're fairly contoured. When you miss a green coming out of the rough, it's hard to stop it, get it close, get it up and down, unless it's a straight uphill chip. And when you do hit a good shot, you have to be so tentative with putts because they'll just go racing by.

I tried to get aggressive with one on 6, and it went 12, 15 feet by. I was fortunate to make it coming back. But you keep doing that and it will cost you.

Q. Can you describe your feelings about this course?
PHIL MICKELSON: I played here in 1986 in the U.S. Junior, and I've always had an affinity for this golf course. It was always a special place to me. I fell in love with it when I was a junior, I fell in love with it growing up as a kid.

It had to be Jack's place. I had never seen a golf course this pristine, this green, this lush, this much water and cool holes. It was my first exposure to a golf course like this.

I was 16, lost in the quarterfinals on the last hole. So I've always had kind of an affinity for the golf course. Played in tournaments here but haven't played well enough to win.

I really enjoyed the day. I had a wonderful day to play, great weather yet challenging. We had enough wind where there was a challenge. The greens are firm and fast. I thought it was a day that you could take advantage of the golf course if you played well, and a day where the course could eat you up if you didn't. And I was kind of right in the middle there. I had a fun day, to play this golf course in this kind of weather and conditions was fun.

Q. You keep coming back, trying to get that W.
PHIL MICKELSON: It would mean a lot to me. Surprisingly, this would mean -- not surprisingly, but this would mean a lot more for me than any other regular tournament. First of all, it's Jack's tournament. And second, I've not ever won here.

As I said earlier, I've always had a love for this golf course. Back when I was 16 and played in the U.S. Junior, losing on the last hole. I've always loved this place and had never seen anything like this place before, this much water, this much green, lush conditions, pristine conditions. Growing up in San Diego, we have no courses like this.

Q. You just want it to love you back, right?
PHIL MICKELSON: It would be nice. But I've got a pretty good gig, whether I win or not, to be able to play here, it's a lot of fun. And I've had some good tournaments here, I've had some good finishes, but not quite low enough to win.

Q. You've got a different strategy going this year into the U.S. Open, playing an extra event and not going there in advance?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I think that there's -- from what I understand about Erin Hills is there is so much to learn, so many different tee boxes and different pin positions and massive greens and all these things that I think you'd end up just overdoing it. And why not just kind of play what's presented and hit good shots, that will hopefully be rewarded.

Q. The way that he's played, weird to see DJ have a round like that today?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, the way he drives the golf ball, he's able to take advantage of a lot of holes. And he had a few putts early on that lipped out that should have gone in, starting on the 11th hole, after hitting the green in two. And it kind of wore on him until he had one big mistake on 16 and that was a tough thing.

But he drove it down there 425 yards on 17, right down the middle of the fairway, has a flip wedge in, and yet didn't really have much of a shot where the pin was and so forth. And so he had a few times where he hit great shots but wasn't really rewarded.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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