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June 15, 2006

Phil Mickelson


Q. Nice job.


Q. Feel good about your position?

PHIL MICKELSON: I feel a lot better now that the round is over and I get to relax and the score has been posted. It's a tough golf course. The wind is making it difficult, the greens are firming up, but I thought that this was as fair a U.S. Open test as I've seen. Granted, we don't have anyone under par but one or two guys, but with the graduated rough, I thought that that made it play so much more fair as opposed to just missing the fairway by a yard and having no chance. You had a chance to get it down by the green, and I put myself in a couple of the deep stuff and was fighting, but I thought it played terrific.

Q. Vijay was saying that he felt that the greens are beginning to get a little bit crusty as the round went on. Did you find that they were fair right now?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the greens are getting firmer. I'm making a divot, which is a good sign, but the ball is still springing 30, 40 feet by the hole, and it's very tough to get shots close to the hole.

With the next three days coming and without any rain expected, I don't think that they are going to get any softer. I think that they'll only get firmer. The golf course will play harder and faster and more difficult, and still, the low scores we saw on probably the easiest day is even par. I think that sets it up for where we're headed for the weekend.

Q. Did you find what you prepared for was out there, or were there some surprises for you?

PHIL MICKELSON: There weren't too many surprises. You have a pretty good idea where the pins are going to be because of the slopes and so forth, and I was able to miss the ball on the correct side of the green and give myself chances for up and downs, and I didn't hit many greens today, I only hit, I think, eight greens, but I was able to put myself in spots where they weren't that hard of an up and down.

Q. (Inaudible).

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, that was an interesting putt because I knew I was going to be under that pin, and so I had hit that putt a bunch in practice, and the first couple times I stroked it, I missed it two feet left or low and three or four feet short, and so I just kept changing my read to get more and more break and got it way out there. And I ended up playing about eight or ten feet of break, and it swung right in there. Had I not had that practice, I may not have known how much that putt broke.

Q. You said it was fair when you got up here. Can you just describe for us how tough it is?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, not really, no. I mean, you'd have to come play to really grasp it. It's the toughest test that we probably have all year every year at the U.S. Open.

Q. Do you feel like you're at a Yankees game, the fans were yelling for you so much?

PHIL MICKELSON: I love it up here. I think everybody loves coming to the New York area. That's why we play so many majors up here, so many great courses, and we get such great support from the community that we tend to hold a lot of tournaments here, and it's terrific.

Q. This course has been called the there's been an analogy made to Yankee Stadium, that this is to golf what Yankee Stadium is to baseball.

PHIL MICKELSON: It's a fair assessment because Winged Foot has so much history with so many great major championships and great stories told. I remember talking to Billy Casper about the '59 U.S. Open he won here when we were at The Masters this year and some of the shots he hit and some of the putts and how tough the greens were. There's been so much over the years that has occurred here that it does have that feel of Yankee Stadium.

Q. Just off the fourth fairway there was something that kind of caught your eye and a homeowner had a camera. Was it glinting or something in the sun?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, I don't remember that. Was it mine or Bones? I don't recall seeing anything. That was probably it. He's looking out for me.

End of FastScripts.

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