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September 1, 2017

Phil Mickelson

Boston, Massachusetts

Q. Good to get off to a good start?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it was nice to have a solid round. I played well tee-to-green, and it made for a stress-free day and a very difficult condition day. A lot of the swirling winds led to some difficult club selections.

But I hit the ball well off the tee and put it in play fairly consistently and hit some good iron shots. It wasn't an overly-difficult day. I didn't putt as well as I would have liked but had a good, solid round, a good start.

Q. You've been saying for a little while you felt like it was going to come around soon. Was this a culmination of that?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, what I've been saying is that I feel I'm close, and yet I feel like my physical game has been where I want it but I've had a difficult time with my mental focus and energy level.

And so after the PGA, I went and addressed it and met with the doctor that helped me get through some of the arthritis conditions I had years ago -- and, well, I still have them, but deal with it.

He seemed to have found something and it seems to, this is the best energy I've had throughout the round and the best focus; the first time I've been able to visualize. My short game has been very disappointing and I haven't been able to visualize the shot I've been trying to hit. And today, and for probably the last few days, I've been able to see the shot again. And so it was a good day.

Q. What did he find?
PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, I don't want to get into my medical stuff.

Q. Generally.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I just, you know, I had to make a couple of changes and it seemed to be helping.

Q. How long has it been an issue, affecting your energy?
PHIL MICKELSON: As I look back on it, it goes back to I would say off and on the last few years, if I look as far back as I want, or as I remember this happening.

But specifically, the last six to eight months it's been very difficult for me. It's been very frustrating to not be able to practice or visualize or see a shot or have that energy level. This last week or two has been a nice step up.

Q. What convinced you to finally see a doctor?
PHIL MICKELSON: It just wasn't getting better. It was getting worse. I felt like -- this was something I had never dealt with before, so I felt like it might be a little bit more than just trying to will it away.

Q. Did you see an improvement last week, as well?
PHIL MICKELSON: I did, yeah.

Q. Can you point to a specific shot today where you felt like you had the energy?
PHIL MICKELSON: All the chips. All the little chip shots; specifically, I'm able to see the arc of the shot I'm trying to hit and have that picture in my head, which I have not been able to do.

Q. What did you think of 12 after the first time you saw it, and did it change the second time you played it?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think the 12th, it's a par 5 for the members. I think it's a wonderful par 5. I think if the tees were back a little bit, it would be an awesome par 5.

The green is very interesting in that you want to short-side yourself on that hole. It falls away; there's a high in the middle, and as it goes off to the sides, you really want to be on the side of the pin. So you're chipping back uphill.

If you're going on the long side, you're going uphill and then the green is going away; it's a very difficult shot. It's a hole you want to get aggressive at and really try to get one close and miss it on the short-side.

I also don't hit it 350 like some of these guys out here and run out of fairway. I don't run out of fairway there, so I don't seem to -- I'm not the one complaining on that hole.

Q. Dustin didn't get the message on that --

Q. Phil, a $100,000 donation was announced today from you and Amy, from your foundation. Just comment about the relief efforts?
PHIL MICKELSON: We are very appreciative of the world-class medical facility that Houston has created over the years that we've gotten to not only utilize their facilities, but also get to know a lot of the people there. Sp it's been heartbreaking to see them go through this. It's been a tough thing. So we want to be a part of helping with the relief program, but also rebuilding because we know that's going to be coming, too.

Q. A lot of years, golfers have gone really low here and didn't happen today. Was it because of the wind?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, and you also are going to have a two- or three-shot difference the with new 12th and 13th compared to the old. The winner probably played 12 2-under; they are probably going to play 1-over this week; so you're looking at three shots right there.

And 13, you probably play it 1- or 2-under and you're fortunate to play even. You're looking at a three- or four-shot difference from what the winning score has been.

Q. Where do you usually hit the pin, 13 or 15?
PHIL MICKELSON: 15. And I didn't hit the pin today but I did get it by the hole and spin it back down to the same spot; so a shot I'm very familiar with.

But that's another example of what I was talking about where I was able to visualize that chip shot and I knocked it up there tap-in distance and I haven't been doing that. That's an example of where it's been much better today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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