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May 30, 2019

Phil Mickelson

Dublin, Ohio

PHIL MICKELSON: So the length of the shaft is about an inch and a quarter longer with the longer driver. The loft is going to be a little bit different. And subsequently my angle of attack is more up, my swing speed is 4 miles an hour. Ball speed faster. I hit it a lot farther. My swing is different than a lot of the young guys, where they're very connected and have fast switch muscles that explode through the ball. My body moves a little lethargic. I use length of arc for great speed. I need longer shafts and timing to be able to create the same kind of speed.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: They're both 8 1/2. But the angle of attack, spin rate, I launch this thing at 16, 17. You cannot control that. That is such a high launch you can't control that 14 times a round.

So I put one in that a little shorter, my angle of attack is down, my launch is closer to 11 1/2, 12, much easier to control. And I should have a reasonable chance of hitting some fairways with the rest of the year with that club.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't see many golf courses here after the rest of the year where there's an advantage of flying it 325. Here there are six of those occasions, four of them the wind will come into play. And I wanted to try to do well here but wanted to get practice in with the other one. I felt like I hit the long driver, probably hit it five or six times. More than a 3-wood, which I took out.

Q. How much more difficult is it to try to get to the U.S. Open at 48 instead of 29? How much tougher is it?
PHIL MICKELSON: The difficulty is not the age. The difficulty is that when you're in your 20s you feel like you have multiple chances. And when you're turning 49, you're like I've got two more chances, this year, and maybe Winged Foot and that's about it. With that being the only one in the four that I haven't won, and what it would offer me and how I look at my career, I put more pressure on it. That's the difficult thing.

Q. Think that's the only thing that could alter your legacy?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, it's just that it would be pretty special to be part of the elite players that have won all four. To me that's the sign of a complete game.

Q. Trying to remember, something happened in '10 at The Open at Pebble on the 14th green that was pretty aggravating to you. May have been green-related. What do you remember about it?
PHIL MICKELSON: When we played in 2010, the poa annua was soft, spongy, we had all kinds of holes and cleat marks and so forth. And it was -- at the speeds they were at it was impossible to try to putt, it was putting like a waffle iron. This year with the rules change where we're able to fix the impurities with the spike holes and impressions, I don't see that being a problem this year. I think that's been the biggest, most positive change is the ability -- out here it's rainy, the greens are soft. There are a lot of spike marks. To be able to tap that down and smooth it out from inside of five or six feet makes it different for the afternoon play. And at Pebble I think that would be the biggest opportunity for it to be an issue and I think that the rules change will nullify it.

Q. Have they ever gotten a set up terribly wrong at Pebble when you played there?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've played, what, 29 U.S. Opens. One hundred percent of time they have messed it up if it doesn't rain. The rain is the governor. That's the only governor they have. And if they don't have a governor they don't know how to control themselves. And so '92 -- I think it even rained in '92 a little bit (laughter.) It rained Thursday and Friday at Shinnecock in '04. Rain is the governor. If it doesn't rain, a hundred percent of the time it will be messed up.

Q. You're anticipating that?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's just based on history. My 30 years, and 30 years before that. So I think we're all pulling for a little rain. (Laughter).

Q. Are there certain times at Pebble that you would use the big driver?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, but during the AT&T when there's no rough, fairways are wider and you have to accommodate the golf course because you have amateurs playing it, yes, there would be times that would be a key club. But not what I anticipate in June. I don't see it happening. I don't see me using it the rest of the year, to be honest. But this particular course, there's six times where it opens up if you can fly it that extra 325. And it's warm enough where you can do it and if you get just the right wind and as long as it doesn't hurt, which allows you to play the holes differently.

Q. Is 14 usually a go for you?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, but the wind was down and pushing it away from the water. And the pin was back. If I miss it left I've got 90 feet of green. Just trying to make 4. It's the hardest second shot pin. If the pin was front I wouldn't have thought about it. But where the pin was it all made sense that if I go left, you see guys make bogeys because it they go long to that back right pin from the fairway, and I felt like I could try to make a 3, 4 at worst with the driver.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: That was a mistake, obviously. What a great idea that was. I'm going to play with a 3-wood. And then I missed the fairways with the 3-wood. That was ridiculous. That didn't work out. I still finished 16th in that particular event, I played awful.

Q. 2000 at Pebble?
PHIL MICKELSON: I know I wasn't within 15 of the lead (laughter).

Q. Phil, a soft golf course but swirling winds, how would you describe the test today?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a very fair, fun test, I thought, because the wind made it difficult but the green speeds weren't what they normally are here, and the softness of the greens allowed you to cover a little bit easier, stay on the green and out of the rough. I thought although it was difficult with the wind, I thought it was a fair challenge.

Q. As you did in 2006 as you won the Masters, you employed two drivers. What was the strategy behind that?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I want to hit little cuts in play, because we come up to the U.S. Open, we come up to the British and some of these other events, I need to put the ball in play. And yet here there are six times where if you can fly it 325, it opens up. And maybe four or five of those, depending on what the wind is, I can do that. I've got a driver that I've been using that I can fly it that far. Trying to drive 14 and things like that. I wanted to get a little bit of work done with the driver cutting it in play, which I did like on 11, even though it was a par 5, I cut it in play there. And I wanted to take advantage of a couple of the tee shots.

Q. It's an important stretch of the season, obviously, trying to complete the Career Grand Slam in a couple of weeks' time. You are an Open champion, as well. State of your game now going into the important part of the year?
PHIL MICKELSON: I got off to a great start this year, was playing really well, and I've been in a little lull here. The game is not far off, but mentally I'm not as sharp as I have been, and I'm not as intense on the course, so I've got to change that a little bit.

I did a good job today of eliminating mistakes. Had I not missed a 4-footer on 16, I would have gone bogey-free. I played a smart round of golf, but I've got to go out tomorrow and make a lot more birdies.

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