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August 12, 2007

Phil Mickelson


Q. How did the wrist hold up this week?
PHIL MICKELSON: The wrist has actually been great. Last week and this week have been the first two weeks where it feels fine, so I expect it should be past me. Should be in the past now.

Q. You went out to work on some things today, and what you found was a bogey-free 69. Talk about your round.
PHIL MICKELSON: I'll certainly take a bogey-free round on Sunday. I played very well, had a chance to get the round going. I think I missed only one green the first 13 holes and had a lot of chances for birdies; didn't make any; made one on 17.
Otherwise, I had a nice Faldo round going where he won the British at Muirfield with no birdies, no bogeys. That's kind of where I was headed until 17.

Q. Hit a lot of fairways today, did you unlock anything on the tee that you had not found earlier in the week?
PHIL MICKELSON: Nothing too different. I had been playing, I thought, or hitting the ball fairly well, but I think that when I struggled making pars, getting up-and-down, when I struggled making putts, it kind of had a carryover effect and I would make some swings without any momentum.

Q. As I set up for the majors every year, a lot of it is about timing and preparation, how do you feel this year, assessing your major year as a whole?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've probably had a three-month suspension it feels like for my year. But I feel like I'm able to resume. I wish this was just a couple of weeks later because I finally was able to start practicing. I just didn't get all parts of my game going. But I'll spend next week working hard, and hopefully I should be ready for the final four events of the year.
I'm actually pretty excited about playing. Usually this time of the year after the PGA, I'm ready to pack it in. But because I haven't played or because I feel like I haven't been able to play and practice three months, even though I've tried, my excitement level to get back out and compete is still very high right now.

Q. Tiger has got a three-shot lead. If he's anywhere near his game today, is he at all catchable?
PHIL MICKELSON: If the past is any sign of the future, then probably not. But you just never know in this game. You just never know.

Q. What makes him so good?

Q. You've played three majors here now. Can you compare the course, other than obvious problems in 2001 with the greens on 9 and 18, can you compare the three that you've played here?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think this is a wonderful setup. I thought it was very fair. There wasn't the forced wedge-out. You could try some shots, and guys tried some shots and it cost them and some guys pulled them off.
I thought the setup was great because you could attack some pins. You could go after a lot of pins, there were a lot of birdie holes out there. It was very interesting on the back nine to have 15 back in that low spot on the left because that is a birdie pin, and I thought they were going to use the top right which is a very tough pin to make birdie. So I think there's some chances coming in for guys to make a move if they are hitting it well and making a few putts.

Q. With the heat, do you expect a really low number? Boo had a chance yesterday, and of course Tiger on Friday.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's out there. A really low number is out there, but the problem is, or the challenge is, that one swing can kind of put a halt to the round. It can make it be a quick double-bogey based on where you hit it. It's out there. There was a round out there in the morning, 5-, 6-under par. I think that there's no reason that couldn't be hot in the afternoon. The wind is calm and the greens are still very receptive.

Q. Do you think this course will be in line to hold future majors?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's one of the best venues we play major championships on. I think that's why it continually gets so many, and they have all been very good, exciting events.

Q. Are you an expert on the whole FedExCup procedure, protocol, the formulas and everything?
PHIL MICKELSON: No. I don't understand how it all works. And certainly there are some things that can be done in the coming years to make it a lot better. But, it's the first year and you're never going to be -- you're never going to have it perfect the first year. It's kind of an evolutionary thing.
In time it will get better and better, but this year, you know, I'm excited to play the next few weeks because I haven't been able to really compete much the last three months. And I'm also excited about kind of having the season end a little bit earlier and being able to play some other events or take some time off and so forth.

Q. I know you hold THE PLAYERS Championship in high regard, but officially it's your first year in a while without a major. How does that seem?
PHIL MICKELSON: Again, I consider THE PLAYERS Championship to be a pretty special event, so that's kind of what salvaged the year for me is winning that, on a golf course nobody expected me to play well on, I haven't played well on in the past and I came through and won on a tough venue.
So winning that event has kind of made me still look at the year very positively.

Q. Is there a difference between needing one before and wanting one like now?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't understand.

Q. Like before you won one, it was -- and now it's --
PHIL MICKELSON: Certainly what makes a year, though, is how you play the big events. But I count THE PLAYERS Championship as one of the five. So my other four performances in the majors were not what I wanted obviously but I don't want to be too hard on myself because for a couple, I wasn't able to make the swings and hit the shots I needed to try to hit.

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