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August 22, 2002

Phil Mickelson


Q. Overall, how did you feel?

PHIL MICKELSON: I have been striking it really well from Sunday in the PGA, and then practice rounds I started hitting the ball pretty well, and came out in the round continuing that. And then as the round wore on, I started to hit some wayward shots, so I'll get to the range to see if I can straighten it out.

Obviously, I'm pleased to shoot 5-under par, even though we saw a lot of low scores it's penalizing if you mis-hit any shots. So I'm pleased to shoot 5-under.

Q. Where did you get into trouble that you have to work out?

PHIL MICKELSON: Just a couple of poor tee shots. I had some pretty good openings on 15 and 10, two shots that I hooked a little and I had a wide open shot and made par. And I actually made birdie on 15.

It just wasn't the shot that I wanted to hit. 16, even though I hit it ten feet, I pulled it quite a bit and just rolled over the ridge.

I thought as the temperature increased over the practice rounds, and as the fairways are firming up a little bit, it's going from driver to 3-wood, 2-iron to 3- or 4 -iron. The course is getting a little faster.

Q. The pitch shot that went in the bunker on 18, was that a bad lie?

PHIL MICKELSON: No. I misjudged the lie. I thought that in my practice swings, the ground was firm so I thought I needed to go in after it, to get the club underneath the ball, and I just made a divot which surprised me because it had been firm in practice.

But when I chip, I don't hit the ball first. I'm always catching it heavy, so I have to judge the firmness of the ground to hit a good shot.

Q. Do the trees make it easier to pick lines?

PHIL MICKELSON: It does, seeing a trunk in the distance. No. 3, No. 2, you've got three tree trunks and you start it on one or try to move to the other.

Or 11, you start at the tree and you move it off then a little bit left. The trees allow for better visualization, and it forces you to hit specific shots. You don't have the freedom to hit a variety -- or to hit the same shot over and over. You have to hit a variety of shots throughout the course of the round.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: The tree short -- I went in the left rough, so I went in between the left trees and got to the front part of the green just in the rough.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: I think it's cool, yeah.

Q. One of your better ball-striking rounds?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if I would say that, but it's one of my better scores, to shoot 5-under, yeah.

Q. Even with the purses so high, is it tough to get out to these World Golf Championships events, even when they are overseas?

PHIL MICKELSON: Not really. You would think it would be a little bit harder, but I think as the year winds down, there's a lot at stake. There's certainly a ton of World Ranking points here with the Top-50 players. I think coming to a major championship site that held the PGA here in '98, and as the year winds down, guys are vying for, obviously, Top-30 on the Money List, trying to get in the TOUR Championship, they are vying for positions on the Money List.

This tournament, THE TOUR Championship a lot of tournaments will give guys a lot of opportunities to pass me.

Q. Depending how you do this week, will that determine your schedule for the rest of the year?

PHIL MICKELSON: My schedule for the rest of the year is really up in the air. I know for sure I'm playing Canada, and I'm playing the World Golf Championships in Ireland and the Ryder Cup. After that, I don't know what I'm playing. I may be done or I may play four times.

It depends how I feel. You're right, the Money List is a factor, but the tournaments I'm looking at are after the Tour. Do I want to play the World Cup? Do I want to play Tiger's tournament? Do I want to play the Skins Game? I don't know. I keep holding everybody off. I just don't know. A lot of it will just depend how I feel.

Q. East Lake is not definite for you?

PHIL MICKELSON: I would not say it's 100%, but I would say there's a very good chance I'll play. I like the golf course. I like the tournament, but it just depends. Again, I may pack it in after the Ryder Cup or I may play four times. I just don't know.

Q. So you'll play THE TOUR Championship if you don't have any pressing matters at home?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I do feel obligated to play, but, if I'm not going to be able to play my best or if I haven't been practicing and I'm not prepared, it is not in my best interests to play.

Q. Do you like the way this course sets up for you?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, I do. I really do like it. I really like the greens -- the pins are tucked and it creates a bowl effect. What happens is it gives you a better chance to get it close to the hole. But if you miss the green, it's a tough up-and-down and the lob shot is really effective here, because of that bowl effect.

So I really like the way the course sets up because I can attack a lot of pins, and if I miss it, I feel like I have a good chance to get up-and-down and some others might have a tough time.

Q. How did you play the second hole?

PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a driver and 4-iron to 15 feet and made it for eagle.

End of FastScripts....

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