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August 23, 2007

Phil Mickelson


Q. This is probably your best round since PLAYERS?
PHIL MICKELSON: Possibly, yeah, other than the Barclays Scottish Open -- on this TOUR, yeah.

Q. Good to have happen?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's nice to get off to a good start here. I've always enjoyed playing this golf course. I enjoy playing in New York. And it was nice to shoot a few under par and get off to a good start in the first playoff.

Q. Was there anything particular that you dealt different about today? You said leading up to this that things were coming together a little bit better?
PHIL MICKELSON: I started striking the ball well a couple of weeks ago. I felt like I was going to start playing well, and I struggled with the putter. The front nine I struggled with the putter, but the back nine I made a good round of it. If I can start to kind getting a little more confidence on the greens, that should hopefully help me shoot lowering scores.

Q. Is it easier for you to play like a regular tournament and not think about the other stuff?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, we don't think too much about the points right now because the only way to get points is to play well and finish high up in an event. So the best thing to do is try to win, and if you win, you get a lot of points.

Q. Why does this course play tough? It's the shortest by the number that you guys play all year, but it's still a very difficult test,.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's very hard to get wedges close. The pins are on high spots and the greens are spongy and fast. So you hit a good shot in there and the ball just feeds down to the low spot 30, 40 feet.
So it's difficult to get the ball close, even if you have short shots in, and then there's some par 4s out there that are really tough. 11 and 12 are very tough pars. And although the fairways are somewhat generous and soft, the ball stayed in the fairway, but you still had to hit them because the rough is so tough.

Q. Do you feel like you're in a four-week marathon, rather than a four-day tournament?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I really don't. I feel like you have to play each event as it comes and try to go as low as being because again, to maximize points you've got to win.

Q. Is it good to have this because before pretty much when the PGA was over there, was a lull, and every week now there's a big event.
PHIL MICKELSON: I see a lot of you guys that normally wouldn't show up here, so it says there's a little more interest in the game and that's a good thing. I like the reshuffle; in case somebody happens to run away with it, everybody gets close enough to where everybody has a chance to win, and I think that's kind of cool, too.

Q. Even though you feel like you've been hitting the ball better in the last few weeks, where is your confidence level right now based on the scores you've been shooting, the results you've been getting?
PHIL MICKELSON: The scores will come slowly but the confidence in my game is there. It's just that I haven't been shooting the scores yet. So a round like today helps, and if I can improve on it tomorrow and shoot another good round, it will slowly start to come around.

Q. If you have a good week this week, what does that do for you for the next three?
PHIL MICKELSON: Probably gives me a chance to take a week off if I want -- no, I'm just kidding.

Q. What does it mean for you to be back in that area?
PHIL MICKELSON: I love coming here. I really have always enjoyed playing in the New York area, and I love talking football with a lot of people here because everybody is so knowledgeable about sports. It's been really fun. I love that we have a lot of majors here. I have started to add this tournament more in the past and I'm excited that this is part of the FedExCup Series because now we'll get such strong fields. And the people in this area deserve to have strong fields in this tournament.

Q. Did people talk to you about Winged Foot on your way around the course today?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I haven't heard that. Winged Foot, Bethpage, there's some very memorable, some better than others. But one of these days I'm going to break through and win a tournament up here, which I guess Baltusrol is close enough, but you can't really count it if it's not in the state.

Q. After THE PLAYERS, you said you could not wait to see where your game would be in two weeks, two months, two years; how do you readjust that? Do you go back to that point, or do you just start over and just find your way back?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't feel like it's starting over. I feel like now I can kind of pick up where I left off three months ago. I feel as though the hand is 100%. And I had a couple shots in the rough I went at and didn't feel anything. So I'm very confident that things are good and that I can go ahead and continue to work hard and not have any pain.

Q. Some guys have said that they're more likely to be engaged in this Playoff process if they start off strong, as opposed to sort of languishing I know it's one round?
PHIL MICKELSON: I would agree with that. I think if you got off to a good start here this event, and you have a good chance now to compete and try to win the big prize, I think that that's going to certainly help with your enthusiasm. And I think in the Playoffs, you know, in normal other sports, playoffs, it's important to get off to a good start in a five- or seven-game series, and so I don't think this is much different.

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