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September 3, 2018

Phil Mickelson

Boston, Massachusetts

Q. What a stunning round today, 10-under par total, nine birdies and a bunch of up-and-downs. That had to feel really good?
PHIL MICKELSON: It did. It feels really good to put it all together. I feel like over the course of the last couple of months I've been turning 65 and 6s into 71s and 2s. Today I was able to get off to a good start and maintain it. Make a couple of crucial pars in the middle of the round to keep the round going. And had really a nice day.

So fortunate also that it's the day before the Ryder Cup picks, although I don't feel that should be a bearing, I think you have to look at the big picture through the course of the year statistically, what you're looking for for that particular course or players or what have you, not one round, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

Q. Right now it projects you into the top-10 of the FedExCup rankings, and that doesn't hurt, as well?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, it's nice. I've got to have a good week. I've got to take this momentum into Philadelphia, play a good solid week, get in that top five, so that if I'm able to come out on top it guarantees a win in the FedExCup, next week is every bit as important.

Q. 129 feet putts made. Is that the difference that you're talking about?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, like I say when I look at the big picture I've been No. 2 in strokes gained putting behind only Jason Day all year. I've really putted well all year. And when I have a few off weeks it's not a long-term thing, it's just a little hiccup more than anything. And so I've been putting like this or close to this for the whole year.

Q. Did you make any changes off the tee?
PHIL MICKELSON: I did. The second round was some of my worst ball-striking. I just lost it. And one of the -- the good things that came of that is I fought hard to shoot 3-under the last few holes to make the cut. And that allowed me a chance to play on the weekend. And that afternoon Andrew Getson, who I've been working with for a few years, we had something kind of click that showed what was off and what has been off in the past. And I wasn't really aware of it. So all of a sudden the clubs going through impact a lot smoother, not fighting it with my hands. I drove it really well yesterday and today, which gives me a chance with my irons to be aggressive, and that's why I made so many birdies.

Q. Why are you a good fit for the Ryder Cup team, do I think?
PHIL MICKELSON: The case I would argue is, again, it always comes down to putting. You want to have your best putters. Statistically because I've had, No. 2 behind strokes gained behind only Day, who is not even on the team, it would be a strong argument, whether I was a veteran player, a rookie or a kid in high school, that's a key element that you want to have.

Q. Where does all these Ryder Cup teams rank among your career achievements?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, this one has an opportunity to be my favorite and most special. We've never won over there. I feel like we have the team. I feel like we have the leadership and we have the direction. We have the game plan that will allow us to play our best. If I'd be lucky enough to get on the team and go over there and be part of a winning team it would probably be my most memorable one.

Q. I know that -- I'm not talking about your partnership with Tiger all those years ago, but do you believe in the theory that he was hard to find a partner for in all those Ryder Cups?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I don't believe it was hard to find. But you had almost a diffusion of responsibility. When you'd be partnered with him you'd let him do all the work because he's so good. And you don't get focused in on your own game and play our best golf. And I think that has been something that has happened to him over his career.

Q. So it even hurt some of the better players that were grouped with him?

Q. You got off to a fast start. You managed to keep it going. You had a lot of frustrating days over the summer, but today must go down as one of those that you'll remember?
PHIL MICKELSON: It feels good. It feels like I've been turning a lot of 65 and 6s into 70s and 71s. And it's been frustrating. So get off to a good start, keep it going, be focused on every shot and make a couple of key par putts to keep the round going, things like that that I haven't been doing as well as I did early in the year feels good to get it back. Gives me some momentum heading over to Philadelphia. I feel like my game is really sharp and I'd love to put it together and have a good week there heading into The TOUR Championship.

Q. Let's go back to Friday where you made three birdies to even give yourself that opportunity over the weekend. Did you find a little something to get your game in shape with two good rounds here Sunday and Monday?
PHIL MICKELSON: I did. I hit it absolutely terrible on the second round and drove it unbelievably poor and was able to fight out and make three birdies coming in without anywhere near my best stuff. We went and had a practice session, best practice session Andrew and I've had all year, and we found a little something that has been an issue that I was unaware of and all of a sudden it starts to click. I don't have to have as much hand action through the ball. I can speed up. I drove the ball well through the last couple of days. It set in. So this was -- it was not only did I find something, I think it's something that is going to be a key factor for years to come.

Q. Final round 63 is always good, no matter where you start on the day.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, certainly it feels good to get a round in here the day before up the picks are coming out for the U.S.A. but you've got to look at the big picture and statistics over the course of the year because nothing that happens today or yesterday or the day before is going to have any bearing on what happens in a month. Justin Rose missed the cut last week, he comes out here and he's fighting for the win. So you can't use a round as a factor. You have to look at the big picture and say statistically over the course of the year who gives us the best odds on iron play or putting.

I think the strongest selling point that I have for myself is that I'm No. 2 in strokes gained in putting, behind only Jason Day who is not eligible for the event. It always comes down to who putts the best in those team events. So that would be the argument that I would fight for is that over the course of a year, not just one round.

Q. (No microphone.)
PHIL MICKELSON: If I didn't play golf I would love to be a litigator. I love to argue. I choose the other side of what I often believe because I just enjoy it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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