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June 10, 2006

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I thought if I could shoot 3 or 4 under par today, it would put me right up there with a chance to win tomorrow. I don't think 2 under is out of it by any means, but I'll need an incredibly low round. I was looking at the leaderboard thinking, gosh, I left some shots out there, but at the start of the day I would have taken even par. It was a tough, tough day with this wind, tough pin positions on the back side, and there really weren't any birdie opportunities back there other than 18.

It was a round that I obviously wanted to be a little lower, but I'll gladly take it.

Q. (Inaudible).

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, yeah, you have to be real patient here. There are some short holes you can get to and some short par 5s you can get to. I made a few mistakes early on, bogeyed the 5th hole, par 5, that hurt. I left a few shots out there. But if you play smart and don't make too many mistakes, you can keep it around par here.

Q. How are the conditions affecting the pace of play? It seems somewhat slow.

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, we just as a whole play slow. I don't know what to tell you.

Q. It seems like this venue sometimes causes slow play.

PHIL MICKELSON: I think that when you play a golf course that has not just the wind that we had today but has the rough, that has the fast, undulating greens, that has pin placements that are on high spots and balls roll away constantly, you never have a chance to just hit a 20, 30 footer up by the hole and then tap out because the ball rolls three, four, five, six feet by. You're grinding object every shot, and it just leads to slow rounds. The tough conditions will always lead to five hour rounds.

Q. Was this good preparation for next week?

PHIL MICKELSON: This was great preparation for next week because the wind made it play so much more difficult, and the fairways which are a little wider here played a lot tighter because of the wind, and it was a great chance to test yourself and test your patience like you're going to be tested next week in the U.S. Open.

Q. How did you do in that respect?

PHIL MICKELSON: I did okay. I would have taken even par starting the day in a heartbeat. I mean, it was brutal, I bogeyed the 1st hole, it was tough conditions, and I felt like I hung in there and hung tough and made a lot of pars and a birdie here and there and was able to shoot even par, so I'm happy with that.

Q. What are your thoughts going into tomorrow?

PHIL MICKELSON: I've got to do something a little special because I'm obviously trailing by five shots or so. I've got to come out and make some birdies and hope that it's like this, hope the conditions are tough and the leaders have trouble pulling away, and maybe I'll have a chance of catching them.

Q. With one round to go are you where you want to be going into a major?

PHIL MICKELSON: I feel pretty good about the U.S. Open next week. Today was a good day for me in that I hit 13 of the 14 fairways. I feel like I'm starting to drive the ball and have control of it off the tee, and that's going to be important for next week.

End of FastScripts.

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