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November 7, 2007

Phil Mickelson


SCOTT CROCKETT: Phil, thank you very much for coming in, and welcome to China. I know it's your first time. Perhaps if you could just start us off with the impressions of the country you've had in the first three days.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I brought my family with me. We've had a lot of fun this week. We went to Beijing on Monday and saw the great wall of China. We saw the Forbidden City, and we've been fascinated by some of the architecture and cultural structures that have been built here in China, and I'm very happy to have my children have an opportunity to see it.

Q. Last night at the press conference you said you were working on your game. What part is it that you're working on?
PHIL MICKELSON: I started in March working with Butch Harmon on driving the golf ball better. I struggled a little last week, but for the most part throughout this year, I've been driving the ball more in play and my misses have been smaller and that's allowed me to play more consistent, if you will. Although, it's been a very inconsistent year, I've been driving the ball more consistently than I have in the past.
Next year in '08, I hope to feel comfortable with that and have performances like THE PLAYERS Championship, like the Deutsche Bank Championship, where I went head-to-head with Tiger more often.

Q. Did you go up to The Great Wall and what did you think of Beijing?
PHIL MICKELSON: We walked up and down a little of it. We did go up there and took some pictures and got to see it. I think it's the most magnificent structure ever built, and I'm so happy that my kids had a chance to see it.
I thought that the Forbidden City was a very interesting cultural difference, learning how the Emperor and the Emperess lived for hundreds of years. That was fascinating to us because it's so different than the way of life in the United States, and so I'm happy that my children can see it and experience a more global education.

Q. Next year with the Olympics in Beijing, what do you think of that and do you think you will go?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think Beijing is going to be a wonderful host for the Olympics. I'm excited that the world will have a chance to see what a great city Beijing is, and I think China will be a tremendous host for all of the Olympic athletes.
Do I think I'll come over? Probably not. It's in the middle of our Playoffs, our big golf tournaments. But hopefully in the future, golf will become an Olympic sport, because then the global -- the Olympic foundations, the Olympic organizations from every country will start to fund and support golf in all countries throughout the world, and golf will be a much more global sport once it becomes an Olympic sport.
The earliest it would be in the Olympics is 2016, the absolute earliest possibility. Hopefully I'll still be playing and maybe have a chance, but I think it would be better if it was for amateur golfers, as opposed to professional. Because as a professional, we have a chance to compete in Ryder Cups, and Presidents Cups and World Cups and represent our country in so many different events.
But amateur golf does not have that opportunity and I'd like to see it do more for amateur golf.
(Chinese translation).
PHIL MICKELSON: Did she translate that correctly? Is that all right? (Laughter) Thank you very much.

Q. You talk about next year going head-to-head with Tiger, what goals do you have?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know and I think it really doesn't matter. My goal or at least the goal of all tour players in the top 20 is to try to win major championships. And this year, I didn't perform as well as I wanted to in the majors but I did make strides in my game and my driving, probably my biggest weakness. I think that next year I should have a good year in the majors. That is certainly my goal.

Q. With the new schedule in America, is there a possibility you will play more in Asia and Australia?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that it would help the globalization of golf if more top players played more international events. And in the past, I have not been able to do that because it hasn't been fair to my family. They have been traveling throughout the year, and they couldn't appreciate all of the things that new countries have to offer.
Now that my kids are older, they are eight, six and four, they can grasp the cultural differences. They get enjoyment out of the educational opportunities of seeing cities in different countries.
And so, I'm making an effort or want to make an effort to do both and help globalize golf but also to take advantage of giving my kids a more global education.

Q. This lady has two questions. Right now it seems that you're working with Tiger Woods former coach, and did you get any insight about Tiger from the coach? And I understand from the press internationally that your coach specifically asked you to lose some weight; and the stat, the skill of your driving, how has that improved your game of golf?
PHIL MICKELSON: Ahhh, okay. Maybe I learned a little bit about Tiger, but nothing I could share. (Laughter).
This off-season, the next two months after this tournament, after HSBC Champions tournament, I will go into an off-season workout program for two months to try to get stronger in areas that will support my new or slightly different golf swing and create more speed and more power.

Q. Obviously disappointed last week, how do you feel coming in this week with such a strong field?
PHIL MICKELSON: I feel a lot better. I had a bit of a virus on the weekend, and I think that the heat didn't -- the heat made it a little worse.
But I've had a good practice session this morning and I'm starting to hit the ball much better, and I'm expecting to play well this week.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you and good luck this week.

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