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May 18, 2019

Phil Mickelson

Farmingdale, New York

Q. Brooks has always said that when he was hurt, you were one of the only guys that reached out to him. What has endeared you to him?
PHIL MICKELSON: I just have a lot of respect for him and his game and how hard he works and the process he went through after he left amateur golf as a pro to make it out here. And just I've always had a lot of respect for him. And he's playing some remarkable golf. It's not easy. It's really not an easy test.

But what's so great up the setup is if you play well like Brooks is playing, it's rewarding you. And if you hit some poor shots, like I did, it really penalizes pretty severely. So it gives the players a chance to have great separation, and it's been a wonderful week, and he's played some great golf.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I first played with him in a practice round at Oak Hill in I believe 2013, is the first time I played with him. And knew that he was going to be good, but you never know how good, but he just kept getting better and better.

Q. It's been 24 years since you played your first major in the New York area. Have you noticed the fan attitude toward you change over that time, and if so, how?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I think they've always been -- I don't know if I've seen the change. They've always been great. I've always enjoyed playing here. It's a special environment. The people here are unique. And they've really given me some great memories and moments over the years.

Q. What do you think that environment is going to be like in 2024?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think it's going to be a good, strong, home field advantage.

Q. There's videos pre-round (indiscernible) are those scripted (indiscernible)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I just get -- just had an idea and hopped in the car and shot it and then sent it and that was that. It's not really scripted. It just kind of -- come up with them, I've done them Saturday at the Masters and Saturday here, and I haven't played great either day, so I'm going to try changing it up a little bit, the days, hasn't worked out. So I'll change that up. But it's been fun, I just want to play better.

Q. What does tomorrow do for you, does that lead you forward for the next month or so?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, there's a lot of things that you can take out in the small moments, and obviously I'm not going to win this tournament, but the greens are very similar, this grass is Pebble Beach. The setup, the rough is very similar, the grasses in the fairway is similar. So you use that as preparation to make -- see how the ball is coming out of the rough, how balls shoot out of the fairway. All the little details, and you try to build on it and take it into the future tournaments.

But there's never a wasted round or a wasted shot. You can learn on every single one of them.

Q. I thought you said you put a lot going into this, but is Pebble the one you've got to (indiscernible)?
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, there's not much I could do right now that would do anything to redefine my career, but there's one thing I could do, and that would be to win a U.S. Open. So if I were to do that, it would change the way I view my career because there are only, what, five guys that ever won all the majors. And you have to look at those guys differently. And if I ever join that crowd, and the only way to do that is to win a U.S. Open, it would redefine my career.

Q. How much do you think about that?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think about it a lot. I do think about what I have to do to win a U.S. Open. And it's getting increasingly difficult. But we're on a golf course at Pebble where you really don't need to hit a lot of drivers. And you need to putt poa annua greens very well with a lot of break, which is something I've done well. So it gives me a chance that -- it lessens my weakness, which is hitting fairways. It makes that not quite as important because you don't have to hit drivers there.

Q. You said it's a lot different in June than it was in February. How so?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, so it just plays so different in that when it's wet and you can fly the balls on the green and stop them no problem, you can stop them out of the rough, but you cannot do that in the U.S. Open as firm as they get. And the -- the fairways are much tighter. And in February I'm hitting drivers and hitting it as far as I can, having a lot shorter shots in. Whereas here I'll be trying to hit fairways with irons and hybrids and such just to get the ball in play, and then coming into those small greens with a lot more on your club. So it's a whole different golf course where you're playing almost defense, player for par first and then trying to make birdie, whereas in February, it is full-bore, all-out, go make birdie on every single hole.

Q. (Indiscernible) some of those opens here or Shinnecock (indiscernible)?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I don't know. But it's been really fun to play in front of this crowd.

Q. (Indiscernible) the younger guys that might not have the experience that you have, was there any kind of (indiscernible)?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I think that it -- I think what it is is a compliment to the course setup. Because it punishes a guy who hits poor shots, like I did today, and makes it really hard to shoot around par. And it's rewarding phenomenal golf shots with birdies. And I think that's ultimately just a compliment to how well and fair the golf course is set up to identify the best player rather than not reward great shots and have everybody just plunked together and nobody being able to pull away. I think it really is more of a compliment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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