August 9, 2020
San Francisco, California, USA
Harding Park Golf Club
JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 2020 PGA Championship here at TPC Harding Park. We're pleased to be joined by Phil Mickelson. Phil posted a final round 73 today to finish the championship at plus 4.
First major in 13 months or so; how do you assess your game after such a long layoff in one of the signature events?
PHIL MICKELSON: So I really thought after finishing second last week, I was really gained a lot of momentum. I thought I was going to come here and have a great week and I barely made the cut, and just never got it going and was just a fraction off across the board.
I thought that the course and the test of golf and the setup and everything about it could not have been better. I think it really identifies the guys that are playing well, gives you a chance to make birdies, gives you a chance to fight for pars. I just thought it was really a great setup, a great tournament. We're going to see an exciting finish with the leaderboard that we have.
I just didn't execute, didn't play to the level I expected coming in after the success I had last week.
Q. There's a lot of buzz about your CBS performance, and you seemed so at ease and just having fun. How do you approach that? Is that something you can see down the road?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that for somebody like myself that's never done that, having a guy like Jim Nantz kind of set things up and kind of stage what to talk about made it easy, because it's not like I prepared for anything.
So I just played, and yet with somebody like that, he just sets things up well. And then obviously to have a wonderful target like Nick, that made it nice, too. (Laughter.)
Q. What was missing this week? Was there one or two things that just weren't going for you?
PHIL MICKELSON: So it's very difficult to hit the ball to tap-in distance because all the pins are on kind of little high points. So you have to make 15-, 20- footers, and I did not. That's the bottom line.
I mean, yesterday I probably left five, six putts out there that I thought I had made from 15, 20 feet. Could have turned an even-par round into mid 60s, and it was things like that that happened throughout the week.
But those putts are very makeable. So the percentage made here are going to be much higher than a normal major, just because you're dealing with one to two percent slopes, rather than two to three and a half percent slopes. So you're tripling the break in most majors than you have here; it's about a third. So you can really be aggressive, and I didn't make them. That's where you have to be sharp this week is making those putts because there's only about five or six holes that you have a chance to have a tap-in birdie.
Q. Just in terms of the amount of golf that's coming up and whatnot, did you feel pretty fresh even though you grinded it out last week and came pretty close, and B, what's your anticipation, and how much do you look forward to the next stretch where you've got a major coming up in another month?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that's exciting because we have the Playoffs starting. I'll take next week off and then we start back at a golf course. I've played well at TPC Boston, and we have that nice run of Playoffs, and then to have a U.S. Open and to go back to Winged Foot will be fun.
I feel like my game has kind of come into shape now this last month and a half of playing, and it's just in time. Unfortunately it didn't click this week, but I feel we have a lot of good tournaments that it will start to click.
Q. As a follow on Winged Foot, when do you start kind of thinking about that and honing in, whether it's mentally, or even shots that you want to hit?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, that's a good question. I don't know --
Q. There's time, obviously.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I don't know the exact answer, but it's already on my mind. I just haven't done any like preparation for it yet.
Q. Back to the TV for a second, two things: Other than them asking you to do it, what prompted you to do it? And secondly, what did you like about it?
PHIL MICKELSON: It just worked out. So it just worked out. I made the cut, so I'm going to be here. I had an early tee time, so I had this afternoon to spend time or to waste time, and it just kind of worked out.
I've always had a good relationship with the guys at CBS. I play their fantasy football with all the producers, Lance Barrow, Sellers Shy and the guys there and all the commentators, and I know all the guys, and it just worked out. I don't know what else to say. Just "Hey, what are you doing tomorrow," that kind of thing.
Did I enjoy it? Yeah, I enjoyed it because I felt it was easy with having those two guys there. I thought that Nantz just makes it easy. The way he sets you up to talk about areas of insight, he just makes it easy.
I've always had a good rapport with Nick Faldo going back to when I played with him as an amateur in the Masters and he was really kind to me, and I've always enjoyed his kind of wit and British humor. So we've always had some good banter at the Champions' Dinners, and it was just an easy environment to spend an hour or so.
Q. I know you mentioned Harding briefly earlier, but I'm curious if you could elaborate, obviously its major debut and how it fits an event like this, and would you like to see it involved again in the future?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think Harding Park is a very underrated golf course. It's one of my favorite sites that we play a major on. It's really hard to mess this up. You just can't mess up a course that's so beautifully designed and gives you so many options to play it different ways, and I thought the PGA did a great job of making this a tournament that really identifies the best players.
I think that's what you're seeing. That's why you're seeing so many guys on the leaderboard playing well, and opportunities to make birdies, struggling on some holes to make pars, big numbers. If you don't play great, you shoot -- there's a great separation between the guys that do play well and the guys that don't.
Q. Seems you've always been a fan of using lead tape on your clubs, but recently you've been using lead tape on the hosel of your putter. What exactly does that help you with?
PHIL MICKELSON: It creates a heavier feel, better head rotation, and a softer, less fast -- it doesn't come off the face as fast as if the weight were actually in the head at the impact area.
JOHN DEVER: We appreciate you stopping by. Best of luck this summer.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports