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June 17, 2006

Phil Mickelson


Q. Phil now owns a share of the lead after 54 holes, 33 on the back today, 69 overall. Actually just ran out of holes to play. In a sense I guess you wish you could go out and play an emergency nine?

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, no. I'm done. It's a very tough golf course, obviously. Two people shot under par today, barely. It's just a brutally difficult course. It's hard to explain, and I'm very happy to be in here and have a chance to maybe yank a little tug on that thing tomorrow.

Q. You really found something on that back nine.

PHIL MICKELSON: I started hitting it a lot better, and this golf course is very tough from the rough. I played the front nine and I learned quickly that you don't want to do that. On the back nine, I was able to hit a lot better tee shots and attack the course.

(Highlights video played.)

Q. I know you've been asked this many times before, but it continues to be something of a phenomenon, the way these New York fans have almost adopted you.

PHIL MICKELSON: It's been a lot of fun. People here have been just terrific, and Amy just is in the gallery and she just laughs and says how fun it's been. We've really had a great time.

Q. What do you do the night before the final round of a major going for your third straight? What's your routine like?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I'll probably get home around 8:00 o'clock and we'll have some dinner, and then Amy and I will shower the kids and get them down to bed. I usually won't sleep very well tonight. I'll probably stay up until around midnight or so, and then sleep a few hours and come out here in the morning and get a little practice session in.

Q. Do you sleep soundly once you hit the sack?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I sleep soundly. Your mind races, but fortunately I've been in this position before. Maybe not for the U.S. Open, I don't think I've ever led in the last round of the U.S. Open, but through our tournaments. It's the greatest feeling, that nervousness, that tough thing to sleep, hard to eat. It's the greatest feeling. You don't want it to go on too long, but it is neat.

Q. I'm not telling you anything you don't know here, but by way of review, 0 for 46 at the start of your career in majors. Now you've won the last two in a row, three of the last nine. Many of those you didn't win in that stretch, you were in serious contention late. You're in a different phase of your career.

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, you're skipping a little bit here because I've got 18 holes tomorrow, and I have not ever won this trophy. I'm trying very hard to do that. I've got 18 holes and I'm just trying to win one. Those past ones were great. There will be some in the future to play in and even win a few more hopefully, but I've got a great chance tomorrow. A lot of players have a chance, but I've got a chance to fulfill a dream of trying to win a U.S. Open, and I've got a lot of work to do.

End of FastScripts.

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