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January 19, 2018

Phil Mickelson

La Quinta, California

Q. I can see you building momentum off the first round carried over here to the second round.
PHIL MICKELSON: The scores obviously aren't what I want, but it's pretty close and I feel good about my game, I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It's easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driver driving has been above average. So if I continue to drive like this and get my iron game back, it's going to be a good year.

Q. You get to go over to play what has traditionally been the toughest golf course in the three-course rotation. What are your thoughts going into the weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON: I like these courses here at PGA West because there's more room than a lot of the other ones. La Quinta's tight for me, it's tough, I know everybody's shooting low scores there, it's not the easiest course if you miss a few shots. But Stadium will be difficult, but there's a lot of scoring opportunities. If you play well, you can easily shoot 7-, 8-under par there.

Q. You have to be pretty satisfied with this round, talk us through what happened today, starting with the first hole.
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit one of the, I hit the worst shot of the year from the fairway, a hundred yards down into the hollow. And then I hit quickly the best shot of the year, so far. Now, granted, it's only two rounds in, but it was an interesting start. What I really like is how we have perfect weather here on great golf courses that allow us to identify our strengths and weaknesses. I've been pretty pleased with overall with the way I've been driving the ball and very displeased with the way my iron game has been. Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it's been. So I'll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events. I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am and if I got my iron play back to my normal level of standard, I should have the results that I've been expecting.

Q. Let's focus on driving for a second because I notice watching your practice round here that there was some things that you were not happy with. Where are you at with that? How comfortable are you with your driver?
PHIL MICKELSON: This is actually the best I've driven it in a lot of years. The one nine-hole stretch that you saw was so frustrating was because the last two weeks I've been driving it very well. I had a little nine-hole stretch where it was off and it feels pretty good today these last couple of rounds, these last couple of weeks, I think it's going to be a good year.

Q. You mentioned the issues, you said that yesterday, did you see much of an improvement from yesterday to today?
PHIL MICKELSON: I ended up hitting a few more good iron shots today. I had a few tap-in birdies, but I didn't hit as many as I wanted. I didn't control the miss the way I want to. The key to iron play is not only distance control but also missing it on the correct side of the hole and I haven't been quite doing that the way I normally do. It's only the second round of the year, it should get better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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