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July 19, 2020

Phil Mickelson

Dublin, Ohio, USA

Muirfield Village

Quick Quotes

Q. Can you just walk us through the putt on 13? What was your mindset and why did you decide to putt from 78 yards?

PHIL MICKELSON: So the reason I tried to putt was the fairway prior to the green was pitched more severely right to left, and if I used that slope it was going to angle and get the ball working over to the left pin and possibly get close, whereas if I hit a wedge shot and flew it on to the front edge or just short, it wasn't using that extra pitch or contour to get the ball over to the left. I would have had to settle for a good shot being 12 or 15 right of the hole. I didn't hit it hard enough, but if I had hit that hard enough or the right speed, I think that ball could have gotten close to the hole to a tap-in, whereas a wedge I didn't see that being possible.

Q. Guys said yesterday this felt like a major test. Can I get your thoughts on the golf course today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's hard. It's a firm, fast, difficult test. I enjoy the mixture. I enjoyed playing the golf course last week where it was soft and you could get it, and then I enjoyed it today where I couldn't hit -- I missed three or four greens with sand wedges. I enjoy the challenge both ways.

Q. As far as going back to your putting, can you just talk us through why on certain putts it seems like you're kind of pausing on your backswing?

PHIL MICKELSON: So I missed five putts inside six feet early on in the round and then finally decided to go back to the pause. What's happening is my transition is getting quick and the putter face is not staying stable, and so when I pause, it's set and it goes through usually pretty stable, and I've had pretty good success the first day and a half when I used it and certainly at the end of the day today when I used it, too.

It's not obviously what I want to do, but it's a great drill that I've used that I seem to be putting better with right now with the drill than without.

Q. Real quick on Jon Rahm, you called early, even before he was on TOUR, that you thought he was going to be a top-5 player within a year. Can you tell us what you saw in him so early?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, Jon Rahm is a remarkable talent, and you're seeing it. You're seeing it in his play week in and week out from a game that has no weaknesses, drives it long, drives it straight, good iron play, good wedge player, great putter. He just doesn't have a weakness, and he also has great course management, thinks himself around the golf course, and he knows himself. He knows that to relax sometimes he has to let some of his anger out. He can't hold that in. It might upset some people, but he knows that it allows him to be at his best, and so I think that that's a big thing, too, is identifying your own self, and he's done a great job of that at a really young age, to know how he has to be, what his presence and attitude have to be for him to play his best.

Q. What was your strategy on 16 today?

PHIL MICKELSON: So yeah, 16 is a hard hole. I played it eight days. I'm 10-over. So I improved my score .2 today by playing for a 4, and I've made four or five doubles on the hole, and it just is a hard golf hole for me. Obviously you can't go left in the water, and when I go right, usually it's a hotter shot like I pull it or it draws and it's always on the downslope of the bunker, and I just can't stop it oftentimes on the green. So I just laid up to where I have an angle to putt it up the green, so I took a 5 out of play and I was trying to make a 3 and had a 12-footer for it.

Q. I overheard you saying this is a good opportunity to make some of the changes to the golf course to make it even better. Any areas in particular that you'd like to see?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, I mean, not really. Jack will probably see it. He's such a brilliant designer, and he's done such a great job with his designs. When you look at a hole like 13 and you make it firm and fast and you let the player create a shot by using that fairway short of the green to get to those left pins as opposed to the only shot that oftentimes you'll have, which is to fly it over the bunker and stop it, and when it's hard like this you can't do it, that shot you get to use the ground to get of get to that pin if you see it. That to me is like a design brilliance, and there's a lot of those out here on this golf course. And there's some holes that might not be as great, and if you get to see it when it's firm and fast like this and the best players are playing it, I think when he comes back and touches it up, I think this course is going to be even better, and it's already great.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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