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June 19, 2019

Phil Mickelson

Cromwell, Connecticut

Q. Phil, making your first start since '03. Two wins here. Thoughts on being back.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's weird how this is one of my favorite courses, along with Harbor Town, and yet I haven't played them very much because they follow the weeks of majors.

But with this new schedule, and I haven't played any of the weeks before, it's opened up some possibilities to come back to sites like Hartford that I've really enjoyed. I'm looking forward to having a good tournament, but also it's fun for me to be back here.

Q. What makes this place unique in the way of the fans?
PHIL MICKELSON: So the size of the galleries. It's always been one of the largest supported tournaments that we have. What's really cool is the back nine offers great risk/reward, exciting finishes, lots of birdies and potential eagles, as well as bogeys and doubles.

This is one of the more exciting back nines to finish a golf tournament.

Q. Between you and Bubba, left-handers have won this thing five times since 2001. Is there something about this course that sets up well for being a left-hander?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's definitely a left-handed golf course. If you look at the percentage of players left-handed in this field, it's what, 6%, and yet we're winning 40, 50% of the time. So it's definitely a -- I'm just kidding. I can't even.

I don't know why that is. I think Bubba has played some great golf in his career and he's aggressive, hits the ball long, and this course rewards that. When you're on you can make birdies and eagles.

That is the way Bubba likes to play and the way I've always liked to play. When you're on, this is a course that will allow you to make birdies. Doesn't matter if you're left-handed or right-handed.

Q. Coming after the U.S. Open, how hard is it getting across country, getting here, and getting prepared for another golf tournament?
PHIL MICKELSON: That's a challenge, but like I said, it's different this year because I usually play the week or two before majors. This year I'm not, and so I have a lot more energy, I'm a lot fresher.

Again, it opens up opportunities to play weeks after the major like I'm doing this week and after the British Open.

Q. What did you notice since you haven't been here in a while, the new amenities and clubhouse?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's been very well done to take care of the players and make this a wonderful experience. Practice facilities are incredible.

But, again, I always go back to the golf course. I've always enjoyed the back nine here. Even though I haven't played it in a while, I feel like here and Harbor Town, two of my favorites, are just really fun golf courses to play.

Q. So was coming back this year a scheduling deal?
PHIL MICKELSON: For me mostly that was the issue. I've been wanting to come back, but been hard for me to come after the U.S. Open when I've played one or two weeks prior. I've spent a couple days getting ready for a U.S. Open. Just been difficult for me.

Again, this year opens it ups.

Q. Feel like another lifetime altogether? When you were here winning back to back you hadn't broken through and won a major, and you've gone on to accomplish all these things that are well documented.
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, it's been a fun -- it's hard for me to think that it's been 16 years since I've been here. It's been a fun career. A lot of fun things have happened.

Playing well and doing well in this site is a big part of that. I'm very appreciative of that, and it's fun for me to get back while I still feel like I'm able to compete.

Q. Last week didn't go the way you wanted to. Curious, at 49, what are your goals? What do you have left to accomplish or want to accomplish?
PHIL MICKELSON: So I certainly haven't played at the same level of consistency week in and week out that I did back in my 20s and 30s. When I play well, I'm able to play at a very comparable level to what I played back at the height of my career. I'm able to pick off wins like I did earlier this year at AT&T, last year at Mexico.

Just not having as many opportunities, and so that's been the hardest thing for me. Having energy levels and recovering and being focused for each shot in four rounds.

Out here the difference is so small between winning and losing. It's one shot here or there. That's something I've been working on or that's the challenge that I face.

Q. (Regarding last week.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I thought it was -- look, it's a great week for me because I have such emotions and family history there at Pebble Beach. So many great experiences throughout my career.

It was just a wonderful setup, tournament, competition. I'm appreciative of the opportunity, even though I didn't play my best or didn't win. I really don't have many more chances. Probably have to come to the realization I'm not going to win the U.S. Open, but I'm not going to stop trying. I'll keep trying. You never know.

I feel like, again, if I can play at that high level...

Just haven't been doing that week in and week out like they way I used to.

Q. When you come out to the course, what do you focus on most?
PHIL MICKELSON: What do I focus on the most? Shooting a number, scoring, getting the ball in the hole and trying to play the course the most efficient way is the one thing that I really try to focus on.

Q. Did you remember much of the course?
PHIL MICKELSON: I remembered the greens because I've had a lot of putts and a lot of fond memories take place.

Q. Talk about the schedule. What are you playing up to the British Open?
PHIL MICKELSON: So I won't play the week before. Usually play the Scottish. I won't play there. Play Minneapolis, which is a new event. Not too familiar with the golf course there. Play the week after the British Open in Memphis, and then the three FedExCup events.

Q. Going do Europe right after this?
PHIL MICKELSON: After Minneapolis. So I'll have a week off next week, play Minneapolis, and then head to Europe.

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