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October 30, 2019

Phil Mickelson

Shanghai, China

PHIL MICKELSON: -- with 100,000 juniors is impressive. I had a chance to play with a couple of them today and meet a few more last night. They have a lot of talent and a lot of game, and it's great for the game of golf to see the market continue to grow here.

Q. With the statistics such as the ones you've been reciting, do you ever visualise a scenario where like the Korean women, the World Rankings will be full of Chinese gentlemen?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if I have the foresight to really know what could happen. I just believe that this is a great growth opportunity for the game, and everybody benefits: Better competition, better professional golfers, better opportunities for equipment, for golf course design, for housing along golf courses. I just see as the growth continues the game to benefit, and we need to increase the pie and increase the opportunities in the game, and this is the best place to do it because there's such growth opportunity here.

Q. What's your fondest memory of playing golf in China?
PHIL MICKELSON: So the two wins that I've had here in 2007 and 2009 were pretty special to me, and I believe 2009 was the year that I had a chance to play with Tiger and ended up winning that he investment. That's a pretty good memory for me. I thought it was an important win for me, too, because it really helped with my opportunities here in China and my abilities to come back and spend more time and get to know some of the kids, and so it's kind of increased my notoriety here, that win in 2009. That was a big win for me.

Q. As you have mentioned before, that you might have a very slight chance of gaining a wildcard for the Presidents Cup and we should know by next Monday, so if you really miss it, what is your plan of involvement in the upcoming Presidents Cup, and also what would be your plan for the future Ryder Cup as being the captain of the team?
PHIL MICKELSON: So I've played terribly this year, and even if I were to win this week, I do not deserve or warrant a pick for the Presidents Cup. There's much better players who have played better throughout the year, and so I won't be on the team this year.

But I intend to come back strong, play well and get back on The Ryder Cup Team next year.

Q. Two questions. Why do you think you've played so poorly since Personal?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't -- I don't really want to go into details. I just haven't -- I just haven't played well. Just had a lot of stuff going on, and I just haven't been really focused and into the mental side. I haven't seen good clear pictures. I haven't been as committed and as connected to the target. I just haven't been mentally as sharp the last six, eight months.

Q. More mental than physical?
PHIL MICKELSON: I believe so, yeah.

Q. What's the last place you've been where nobody recognised you, and what was that like?
PHIL MICKELSON: (Pausing several moments) It was really nice (laughter) and it was in a remote part of Asia. A remote part of Asia, kind of away from a golf course in kind of just a normal -- just a normal, quiet city.

And it was interesting. It was just nice. Nice, yeah. It's happened with family and it's happened without. Those are usually the times that I kind of fly under the radar. When we went to the great wall of China ten years ago, there were parts around there that were not as touristy, and so that is one of them that comes to mind.

But the Forbidden City in Beijing, certainly that was a touristy area, so I ended up not flying under the radar like normal. When I go down to Kunming, there were parts of Kunming away from the golf course in the heart of the city that was quiet.

Q. When you're interested in other things like, going to the Great Wall or to the Terracotta Warriors; and you learnt to speak Chinese a little bit, didn't you? You made a speech in Chinese once.
PHIL MICKELSON: I did it in Japanese one time.

Q. It must be more difficult, isn't it, to focus purely on golf when you have got these other things that you want to be interested in.
PHIL MICKELSON: Maybe. But -- maybe. But I enjoy -- I feel like the enjoyment I get in learning about new cultures and experiencing different parts of the world, I believe also helps me play well because I'm able to get away from the pressure of the tournament and not just be in solely on how I play.

It gives me a nice escape away from the round of golf and kind of relaxes me, too. So I've had times where I've played successfully here, and those -- those chances to see other parts of the culture helped me I think play well.

Q. And do you think other players ought to take a leaf out of your book and take an interest in what's going on around them off the course?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think it's for me to really recommend what other players should do or what's best for them. I think that everybody has to find out what's best for them.

But for me, I've always been curious, and my wife, Amy, has really done a great job of taking the parts of my job which could be difficult, the travel, and utilising it as an advantage to teach the kids and show them all different parts of the world.

So she would take them to, she took our kids to the Terracotta Warriors and to the Panda exhibit in Chengdu and to the Forbidden City and The Great Wall, but she also took them to the canal cities and where the heart of China is and showed them remote cities throughout parts of China to see how a majority of the people live. That's gave the kids a very worldly experience, and she does that everywhere we go.

So I give her a lot of credit for taking the most difficult part of my job and making it a strength and taking advantage of that opportunity.

NICK PARKER: Thank you so much for coming in, Phil. Best of luck this week.

PHIL MICKELSON: Thanks, guys. Let's have a great week.

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