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June 16, 2018

Phil Mickelson

Southampton, New York

Q. What happened over at 13?
PHIL MICKELSON: Look, I don't mean disrespect by anybody. I know it's a two-shot penalty. At that time I just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over. I took the two-shot penalty and moved on. It's my understanding of the rules. I've had multiple times where I've wanted to do that, I just finally did it.

Q. Did you think the ball was going to go off the green?
PHIL MICKELSON: No question. It was going to go down into the same spot, behind the bunker. Wasn't going to have a shot. I don't know if I would have been able to save a shot or whatnot, but I know it's a two-shot penalty, hitting a moving ball. I tried to hit it as close to the hole as I could to make the next one and you take the two shots and you move on.

Q. Does it show disrespect to the championship?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's certainly not meant that way. It's meant to take advantage of the rules as best as you can. In that situation it was just -- I was just going back and forth. I gladly take the two shots over continuing that display.

Q. You are really admired around this golfing world, especially at this U.S. Open. What do you have to say to those people that love you so much, follow you? Do you regret what you have done?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've had an awesome day. The people here have been incredible. It's been -- singing happy birthday, wishing me happy birthday. The people here have made coming here over the decades an awesome experience. It's a fun birthday.

I don't mean any disrespect. If that's the way people took it, I apologize to them. But that's not the way it was taken. I took the two-shot penalty and moved on and there's not much more to say.

Q. Discuss the frustration.
PHIL MICKELSON: I wouldn't say that I'm playing as well as I like, but I don't feel like it was frustration that crept over. I had fun. Beef and I had a great time today. People here have been tremendous. I mean, they have made my birthday very special and I'm very appreciative of that, as well as coming here for two decades. The people here are just incredible. I just took two shots and moved on because I didn't want to keep hitting it back and forth. That's all there is to it.

Q. Beef said you couldn't help but laugh?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah. I'm having fun out there. I mean, it's a challenge you never see. Like I say, I could have been going back -- I could still be out there potentially. I took two shots and moved on and got to play the next hole.

Q. Did you know you could have taken an unplayable and just put it back and replayed the shot from where it originally was?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think that was a great option. It was downhill, downwind. It was a good chance I would do it again. Like I say, I tried to hit that as close as I could, take the two shots and move on.

Q. (Inaudible)?
PHIL MICKELSON: Look, everybody has got to play it. I'm not saying either way. Everybody has got to play it. I was playing it worse than most and wanted to get to the next hole eventually, which I did.

I don't mean it disrespectful. If you are taking it that way, I'm sorry. That's not the way it's meant. I wanted to get to the next hole and I didn't see that happening at the time without the two shots.

Q. Earlier in the week you praised the course setup. Did you have any issues today?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's certainly a lot harder today. But I like the fact that the fairways are a width I can hit. I can hit these fairways and it's a very playable golf course. Very difficult today, and sometimes it's tough to finish a hole. So I'm just glad I got to finish them all.

Q. You spent 30 minutes in there. What were you doing in there so long?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's just tiring, you know, just tiring. Getting water, drinking, eating. I know I'm going to be out here before I get to the tent -- by the time I sign and talk to you and so forth, it's going to be a while before I eat and drink. I always take 20, 30 minutes before I go out.

Q. Did you know what the penalty was?
PHIL MICKELSON: Of course, yeah.

Q. Do you think it will start a trend?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think there are times where it's strategic, sure. I think knowing the rules is never a bad thing. I mean, you want to always use them in your favor. It's a risk. I could have maybe hit a shot and somehow made the putt. I don't know if it would have saved me a shot or not, but I might have saved my shot doing it the way I did it too. Either way, there's no disrespect meant.

I was laughing. I was having fun. I enjoy the challenge of this because we don't get to see it but once a year and sometimes it gets a little goofy, sure. But it's all within the rules.

Q. Was there anyone in the crowd that reacted? I saw afterwards you were giving thumbs up.
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm having fun out there no matter what I shoot. Sometimes I go low, sometimes I don't. The people here have been awesome. They made my birthday really special, so I appreciate that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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