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October 17, 2007

Phil Mickelson


Q. Good to be home, seeing old faces?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it is good to be at Grayhawk, an area that has a lot of special memories for me. It's one of the first companies I represented and have been with Grayhawk for 15 years now. It was a long-term vision or goal of ours to hold a PGA TOUR event. Now that it's here, it's pretty cool.

Q. Kind of late in the season, was it a no-brainer coming out here?
PHIL MICKELSON: If it wasn't for this event, I wouldn't be playing this week. But I am looking forward to playing, because again it was something we had wanted to do for 15 years.
I also have some new Callaway irons I've been working on with Roger Cleveland that I'm going to be using next year. It gives me a chance to have a competitive round here. I'm also going to Singapore and China to play, and it will give me a chance to have some competitive rounds with those clubs before next year.

Q. Are you feeling good wrist-wise?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, wrist feels great; I'm healthy; and it's been fun. We had a fun Presidents Cup. The U.S. side won, that was a good time, and I'm hoping to play somewhat like I did there this week.

Q. Did you fly solo in here, or did you bring Amy and the kids?
PHIL MICKELSON: We didn't take the kids out. We are taking the kids to Singapore and China and leaving next Saturday, so I didn't want to take them out of school for another week. So they won't be making this trip.
Amy is going to be home. We have soccer games and stuff on the weekends, so we don't want to miss that.

Q. What are your thoughts on the quality of the field?
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't looked at the field. You quite honestly, the TOUR is so deep now that the level of play is very strong.
Plus, we have all of the top pros here, or a lot of the pros from Scottsdale: Aaron Baddeley is here; Billy Mayfair; some good players from the area that know this course. They are going to be tough.

Q. You've had two weeks off; excited to get back in competition?
PHIL MICKELSON: I am somewhat looking forward to playing some golf, because again, I enjoy Grayhawk. I enjoy being out here. It brings back a lot of memories when I first turned pro and was playing.
It also, again, gives me a chance to play some new clubs and get used to those. So I am looking forward to this week.

Q. Some of the guys seem to be dusting off that haven't played really since THE TOUR Championship. Why do you think that is this week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think a lot of guys are playing because it's such a great golf course, and because it's such a fun event. I think a lot of guys are playing because they are from here. We've even got Brandel Chamblee to come out of the booth and to play a little bit now. I don't think if that's going to help or hurt the tournament. But either way he's out here; that's a good thing.

Q. Long-time ties with the valley here and the Thunderbirds, what they represent; what's your take on the Birds?
PHIL MICKELSON: They do an amazing job running golf tournaments. And the Phoenix Open is a unique event on the PGA TOUR; there's nothing else like it. For them to be able to instill a whole different feel and have a whole different environment here at Grayhawk for this tournament and create it's own niche is pretty cool, as well as they run golf tournaments.

Q. They help out so many different charities and today The First Tee was out here, and some kids were out there helping caddie on the 8th; how did they do?
PHIL MICKELSON: The Thunderirds have done a lot for charity, I mean, a lot for charity. They have really gone out of their way to help get the game of golf to people that otherwise would not be exposed to it; having The First Tee out here this week, today, was a lot of fun, and seeing kids who like the game of golf. The Thunderirds have given them a place to play and be exposed to the game. They have done a lot with myself. They have done some stuff like with the AJGA and helped out some of the charities that are meaningful for me.

Q. One of the kids tried to read a putt for you on No. 8; how did he do?
PHIL MICKELSON: He did a pretty good job. He knew which direction it was going to go, that's always a plus.

Q. Pulling for ASU football?
PHIL MICKELSON: I've always pulled for ASU football. I'm able to watch every game in San Diego, we have every game on TV over there. And it's real little exciting because not only are they winning them, but they are winning them with domination and they look very, very good. It will be a tough test with some good games coming up. But it looks like they are up for it.

Q. What your thoughts on how the course is set up?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, there's a lot of holes that are going to be birdie holes here, short par 4s.
And so to take two of the par 5s out is the right thing to do because those holes were short par 5s to begin with. And 18 is a very good par 4, and they moved the tee up a little bit for us so that it's only, what, 480 or so. So it's a very fair hole.
7 is a tough hole, regardless of what par is, it's a tough four either way. But it's still going to be low scores. We'll still have a lot of birdies here.

Q. How many times have you played this golf course?
PHIL MICKELSON: We were just talking about that earlier. I probably have played 300 or 400 rounds out here over the years, I'm guessing. I've probably played about 40 or 50 rounds starting in '93 for six to eight years.
So it's been a few hundred rounds, at least.

Q. They have been a sponsor since the very beginning?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, one of the first I've ever been with. Del Cochran and Gregg Tryhus have meant a lot to me over the years, and that's a big reason why I'm playing.

Q. What do you think score-wise, I guess there's been a few tournaments played here before?
PHIL MICKELSON: Scoring will be low. Even taking two par 5s out of the mix, scoring will be low, because there's a lot of short irons into some of the greens and the greens are putting perfectly. The bermudagrass that was installed here a couple of years ago, the ball is tracking even late in the day. It's rolling really nice. I think that we'll have a lot of birdies.
Now that being said, there's some tough pars out here. There's some tough holes. I think 16 and 18 are very difficult. 12 is a tough hole. Certainly 13, the par 3, is one of the hardest we have.
So with that being said, scores will be in check. They will not be the 7- , 8- , 9-under par rounds like would be possible. I think there will be a lot of 4- and 5-under rounds.

Q. Lehman's 13-under in '99 will not win?
PHIL MICKELSON: It will be lower than that.

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