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July 6, 2006

Phil Mickelson


Q. Can you talk about that strong finish on 18 there?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, obviously to make an eagle required some luck. I was just trying to get on the green and the ball ended up rolling by the pin. But it's fun to finish a round of golf like that. After the start that I had, bogeying the first two holes, that got me to 4 under par, and it got me back in the tournament.

Q. Did you realize how close you were to making double eagle out there?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it was right at the pin. I thought it was going to come within inches of hole but then roll off the back edge. I'm just pleased it stayed within eight feet of the cup.

Q. Double bogey to start the round?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, bogeyed 10 and 11, hit a couple of poor shots around the green and let some shots fly, but came back with some good birdies on the back side and turned at even, and then made some good birdies on the front side, which was my back.

Q. How far did you have on 9?

PHIL MICKELSON: I had a good drive and a 4 wood to about eight feet just behind the hole.

Q. Usually a shot like that, an everyday golfer says it make them come back for more. Is it the same with you?

PHIL MICKELSON: I think there's a big element of luck for a 4 wood to get close like that. I really enjoy hitting a wedge shot or a short iron shot that I feel is the right distance and watch it land the right distance and spin the right amount for a tap in birdie. Those are the fulfilling and the important shots, too, because that's really where you score. I'm really thinking 4 any day and I got lucky it ended up by the hole and I made the putt.

Q. How far did you have to the hole?

PHIL MICKELSON: I had 271 to the hole.

Q. Any nerves to shake off today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I've been playing the Tour now for 14 years (laughter), and certainly we get nervous. I'm guessing that you are referring to (laughter).

Since the Open I've been preparing for the British, and I've been over at Hoylake, been checking out the course, been working on shots, and I've been hitting the ball much better. I didn't feel like I played very well a couple weeks ago. I haven't really struck it the way I wanted to since The Masters.

This last week I really started to get tuned in and hit it much better, and I didn't get off to the start I wanted. I bogeyed the first few holes, but I knew I was hitting the ball well and I hit some good shots coming in to make some birdies and turned at even, and then my last nine holes I was able to make a couple birdies. It was a fun round today.

Q. Did you notice anything different coming off the U.S. Open, the way they treated you today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the people in Chicago treat us great, and we had a great day today. I fortunately was able to play with the hometown boy Jeff Sluman. He's a great guy and a great player, and it was fun to play in his hometown.

Q. The recovery on the par 5, 15th, your sixth hole, did that jump start your round coming out of the trees making birdie there?

PHIL MICKELSON: Maybe, maybe. I thought that the birdie on 13 was a little more important because I was 2 over, and making birdie on 13 allowed me to have a par 5 to get me back to even. Certainly you feel like you're giving a shot back if you don't birdie 13, but I don't know if it was the kick start as say making birdie on 13 that got the round going.

Q. How many fairways did you hit today, and did you correct what you were having at Winged Foot?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't really keep track of fairways. I'll let you guys add those up. But I was able to hit some good drives on my back nine and attack some of the pin positions.

Q. (Inaudible).

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, maybe, but hats off to the guy from the White Sox. That's a really hard job (laughter).

Q. Driver on No. 8, do you do that often? That was pretty bold there. A lot of guys are kind of hanging back a little bit.

PHIL MICKELSON: You know, we all have different ways of playing (laughter).

Q. Did you feel the need to try and get something going there or just feel good about

PHIL MICKELSON: If I hit driver on 8 I take the water out of play. If I hit anything else, it brings it right into play. I think it's important to eliminate some of the larger hazards like that.

Q. The bogey there on No. 6, what happened?

PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a good 4 iron in there about 40 feet but just off the fringe, and I hit a poor chip. I put a new L wedge in today. I was kind of experimenting with a club that I thought I might use at the British. It's not going to happen. I ended up hitting one of the worst chips there on 6 and I hit two horrible chips on 10 and 11, my first two holes. So I'll go back to the wedge that I used at the Open.

End of FastScripts.

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