Q. Given the conditions did you think it was realistic?
PHIL MICKELSON: Sure, I did think it was realistic. The pin placements were more difficult today, because of the rain, they had to put it in elevated spots, on the highest parts of the greens. And that makes it very difficult to get to a lot of pins.
The other factor that comes into play on every single hole that we have not talked about is the mud. Mud is always on one side of the ball. My 13th hole today, I had mud on the left side of the ball and if you know how that works, it flies -- putting, it putts towards the mud because of the gravity, the weight of the mud. But aerodynamically, there's a different reaction, the ball flies the opposite. So when the mud is on the left side it shoots to the right.
So I'm playing the 13th hole and I've got that creek to the right, and I've got mud on the left side of my ball knowing the ball is going to shoot right. So I've got to aim at the trees, and let it snap quick. And that's happened on every hole.
Now sometimes it works out great. Like No. 10, I aimed in the left trees with that 8-iron, because I had mud, again on the left side of the ball and it shot it right, and ended up a few feet from the hole. So I judged it properly.
But on 13, it fortunately shot far enough right to miss the trees, but it did not shoot far enough to the right to get to the pin and it went through the green. So that's a factor on every single hole.
That's the only really difficult part, because if you play 11, my biggest fear is that I get mud on the right side of the ball and I'm playing 11, because it's going to shoot it left and I just don't know how far to play it to the right. Everybody's got to play it, but that's the most challenging part of today, getting the irons close, given -- even when you take a casual water drop, you're going to have mud, but it's not the kind of mud that's going to affect the flight. But you still have a dirty ball, even if you clean it and drop it, it's dirty, not like that matters, but when mud sticks on it, aerodynamically, it has the counter effect of what side it's on.
Q. When are you going to putt with mud?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, if you're on the fringe.
Q. Three shots, three more birdies gets you right there, right in the thick of it, you're already there, but gets you that much closer. Are there three shots out there that stand out that you didn't get?
PHIL MICKELSON: Not really today. There was really only one shot that I gave away. I didn't have any bogeys. I made -- I putted very well today.
On 15, I had an 8-iron in, and again, there was a little bit of mud on the right side of the ball, but I felt like I could go at it, at the pin and shot it just enough left to where it landed just left of the green. Had it landed on the green, it would have stopped and I would have had a very easy chip, but instead it kicked it down and I chipped it up ten feet and missed it.
Q. How hard was it coming back?
PHIL MICKELSON: Not nearly as hard in years past when greens are firm and water is a threat. I just had it check up a little too quick.
Q. If there's a regret to this point, would it be 12, 13, 14 yesterday?
PHIL MICKELSON: There's no regrets yet. A low round tomorrow, no regrets.
Q. They said on television they thought you were much more consistent on the shorter putts -- wasn't me, it was them. How do you feel about that? Did you do anything different over the last day to focus on that, or is it just nothing unusual?
PHIL MICKELSON: They just went in. They are very difficult here. That is a very challenging part of this golf course, because all the 4- and 5-footers that I have, I'm playing six or eight inches of break and letting it curl a little bit. There are very few straight putts, I had one on 9 that was straight in, but I can count those on my fingers. The one on 18 I'm playing six or eight inches outside the hole from four or five feet and those are very difficult to make.
I didn't do anything different. They just went in.
Q. What is it about this tournament and this course, especially this year, that seems to bring the best golf out of the best golfers?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know what it is, but it does seem to occur.
Q. Sundays have not been particularly good to you here. I don't think you've broken 70 here. How do you block that out and reverse that trend tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, you bringing it up doesn't help. (Laughter.)
But, I'm obviously not going to focus on that. We're going to have typical Sunday pins. I know where they are and I'm going to have to be patient on where I pick and choose the holes to attack, much like I did today. I think that there's still a low round out there, especially if the greens stay receptive.
BILLY MORRIS: Phil, thank you very much and good luck to you tomorrow.
PHIL MICKELSON: Thanks.
End of FastScripts....