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July 22, 2006

Phil Mickelson


Q. How frustrating was it today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, you still have to execute, but the biggest thing for me has been on the greens. I just haven't putted well. I had a great chance today to get 7 or 8 under par and I missed a bunch of five or six footers early and just didn't make a putt outside three or four feet today.

Q. How frustrating is it that there's so much luck involved?

PHIL MICKELSON: It's part of the game so everybody accepts it. I've had good breaks, just like that shot on 18 that could have gone into the bunker, and it ended up three feet from the hole. But you also have some bad breaks that you have to minimize, everybody gets those, and so when you realize that it's not a negative, it's just part of the game.

I think the course is playing similar to the first day. Yesterday the wind we played in was a bit tough but today the wind we played in wasn't so strong as it was yesterday afternoon. I thought there were a lot of birdies out there today.

Q. Was there a word to describe today?

PHIL MICKELSON: It's going to be an interesting day to watch the leaders play. There are a lot of birdies out there with the wind not being as strong as we were expecting, and so I just didn't do it. I didn't play well enough to do that. You just have to make some putts out here. It's hard to get the ball three, four, five feet from the hole. You're facing 15 to 30 footers, and I just didn't do it.

Q. Has there been disappointment that you haven't been able to get off to a good start?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't feel I've been making bogeys and been behind, but I just haven't made the birdies. I haven't birdied No. 5 the last couple of days. I haven't birdied 4, which is a birdie hole. I just haven't taken advantage of the birdie holes. But I look at it, I just haven't made the 15 to 20 footers. I haven't made any of them. That's what's been so frustrating.

But it's a great test of golf, a great championship, a great golf course. It will be exciting, I just wish I was part of the leaders, but I'm not.

Q. Going into today you knew you needed a low round?

PHIL MICKELSON: It was out there. The wind wasn't blowing, and even though the pins were tough, there were some you could get to. The par 5s you could get to. My partner, Greg Owen, shot 4 under and could have easily been three or four shots lower. There isn't a 7 or 8 under par round out there, but will the leaders separate themselves and shoot that themselves? Will guys from behind catch them? It should be an interesting day.

Q. It doesn't always go for everybody and you put so much preparation into this. Can you talk about what type of frustration you might be having at this stage knowing you're not in the mix tomorrow?

PHIL MICKELSON: It's really not that frustrating. I enjoy my job. I enjoy practicing and working on the golf course and competing in the event and so it's fun for me. It's more fun the first couple of majors where I won or had a chance to win. I wouldn't say frustrating is the word as much as it just didn't happen this week so far.

To win you have to play well, obviously. What I don't want to have happen is come in and play well, hit the shots the way I want to and have them turn out not the way I expected.

Q. Is there a point in the round where you said to yourself, well, I'm just going to enjoy this for what it is?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, after I was 3 over after nine and realized that winning chances of winning were not there, I just wanted to play well, hit good shots, keep grinding and get it to turn. The last three holes, finishing birdie, par, eagle was good but not quite enough. I'm going to go out tomorrow and see if I can go low and put together a good round. I've certainly studied the course, now I just have to hit the shots.

Q. What did you hit on 18?

PHIL MICKELSON: It was a hybrid, 3 iron/4 wood club that I've been using, so it was about 245 yards to the hole, roughly. I finished up three feet away.

Q. The finish has to give you good things to work on.

PHIL MICKELSON: I want to play a good round and move on to the PGA. I'll play The International before that. We'll start getting ready for that shortly after this. Before we do that I want to get together one good round of golf. I know I can do that here, I just haven't quite got the putts to roll in. More for self gratification than because it's going to move me up the leaderboard or anything. I just want to play this course well one round.

End of FastScripts.

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