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June 11, 2006

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: It is exciting that the U.S. Open is now here after I finished my final round here. The golf course over at Winged Foot is going to be very difficult. It's one of the hardest setups heading in that I've seen, and we're all going to have our work cut out for us. It's going to be a difficult test of golf. We're also all looking forward to it. We only get our national championship once a year, and we're all ready.

Q. You're the only one that has a chance for the slam this year, so what's the feeling going in there?

PHIL MICKELSON: That's not really a thought. Obviously it's nice to have won The Masters, but right now I'm trying to turn my attention to the U.S. Open as much as I can. I've been here now a bunch of times. I think that I've learned the golf course as well as I possibly can heading into the tournament, and hopefully come Thursday, my game will be sharp and I'll be ready to play.

Q. Your thoughts on today's round and how that will carry over into next week?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's a very similar golf course here at Westchester than at Winged Foot, although Winged Foot is comparatively probably a little on steroids now with the rough grown so high, the fairways so tight. I guess we have our own steroid problem in golf, and we're going to see it next week.

Q. Do you feel like the New York fans are going to come out in full force next week?

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, I think that we are going to have 35,000 or 40,000 people there, and it's going to be incredible. We've got some of the best run U.S. Opens here in the metropolitan area, and Bethpage was a phenomenal success, Shinnecock was a phenomenal success, and I expect the same from Winged Foot. It's a great golf course, and the people here are terrific.

Q. How would you characterize this week for you?

PHIL MICKELSON: I thought it was a good week in preparation for next week. I spent a bunch of time over there at Winged Foot this week, as well. In fact I was there this morning for a couple hours as Bruce kindly pointed out. It was a good week for preparing for next week. Obviously I didn't play at the level to win this championship, and I would have loved to have done that, but I feel like it's starting to come around and I've gotten ready.

Q. How are you feeling about your game going into next week?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, again, you're never sure come Thursday, even as great as I played in Atlanta, tee it up Thursday at The Masters, you're never sure how it's going to go. I prepared myself for the golf course as good as I possibly can, and hopefully my game will be sharp.

Q. Will you use two drivers?

PHIL MICKELSON: I won't know that it'll probably be a day to day decision based on the weather, but it doesn't look like it. It looks like I'm going to use a special driver that Callaway made for specifically Winged Foot.

Q. As you know, the U.S. Open always hems Father's Day. Just give us your thoughts on what impact your dad had on your career and your golf.

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, my fondest memories in the game, even after having won a bunch of Tour events and a couple of majors now, my fondest memory is still getting picked up from school by my dad and going and playing nine holes or playing until dark and tracking back in from the middle of the golf course in the pitch dark.

I loved those times that we've had a chance to play together growing up. Those are the times that I cherish, and I hope could have them with my own children, and I still play with my dad and enjoy it.

Q. There's so many reports about how many times a golfer will go over to Winged Foot during the past month or so, how many times Tiger has gone, how many times you have gone and visited that course, just walked the course and taken some notes. Can you give us a sense of how many times you have gone to the course and what it takes to prepare during the last month and a half or so?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I've gone a couple of times, a decent amount. I don't think that it's necessary to go that much. It's just that Winged Foot has so many nuances to it. Every green has a little roll or a little knoll, and it's very hard to pick it all up in the first trip or two. So I ended up spending quite a bit more time over there because of that.

End of FastScripts.

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