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November 11, 2007

Phil Mickelson


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you very much, Phil. Many, many congratulations. You've won three major championships, you've won countless tournaments in your native United States. Have you ever been involved in a finish quite like that?
PHIL MICKELSON: This was a very funny day. I cannot believe I'm here as the champion right now. It was one of the more unusual back nines that I have ever been a part of.
SCOTT CROCKETT: It was a roller coaster of emotions for us watching it; I can't even begin to think what it was like for you playing. Can you give us some idea of what you were going through coming down 18, and 18, and 18?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know what to say. I can't believe that I'm here as the champion. I was leading by a lot, and looked like I had control, and had six penalty shots today and ended up two back with three to go and now got in a playoff. I don't know how the day finished like this, but I am certainly excited to be the HSBC Champion, and I guess it really doesn't matter how.

Q. 4-under par first round, 6-under par second round, 4-under par third round; what made the difference to be 4-over par fourth round?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I was hitting the ball very well and I hit a lot of good shots early on, and made some birdies. I thought that it was going to be a similar round to the previous three.
I don't know what to say. I mean, I had, you know, two drives that really cost me: The drive on 8 where I hit the cart path and went out-of-bounds and the drive on 13 where I hit in the water and had to re-tee.
But I don't know. I guess I'm not really looking back on the round and remembering very many of the shots. I'm just thankful that I won.

Q. You don't seem to remember many of the shots but you remember the shot on 15 that went wrong, but had you thought you lost the tournament at that point?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I wouldn't say that the shot went wrong. I didn't really have another option. There was no way to keep it up top or within 20 feet of the hole. I thought that if I flew it to the bottom, there was a chance it might stay. I hit a pretty good shot. I just flew it short of where I wanted it to. I knew he was going to birdie that putt or make birdie after he hit such a great shot in. But to be leading all day, and then be two shots back with three to go was tough.
I think the biggest turning point for me after that happened was on the tee at 16. Bones convinced me to hit an iron off the tee. There was no place around the green if I went for it to make birdie. I laid up, I hit a good iron shot and made birdie, was only one back with two to go. And that was -- allowed me to get back in it.
(Turning to translator) Sorry, did I talk too much? (Laughter).

Q. You won over 30 events back in the States. Have you ever won any tournament similar to this, this way, and would you say this is fairly lucky; it's almost like winning a lotto.
PHIL MICKELSON: Sure. But it's a win. (Laughter).

Q. Any similar wins similar to this?
PHIL MICKELSON: I remember one or two that were like that in the States. In San Diego at Torrey Pines, I was playing with Frank Lickliter in a playoff. I hit it in the trees and he hit in the trees, as well. I made 6; he made 7.
But, but, I can't remember a final hole like this. It was a funny last nine holes. The last two hours was very different. (Laughter) I didn't enjoy the back nine at the time, but now I do (gesturing towards trophy.)

Q. Will you be able to take us through your range of emotions, perhaps starting from the seventh hole where you had your five-stroke lead and you watched it erode right through to the end where you finally won. What was that roller coaster of emotions that you were feeling?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, you know, we don't need to go through it all. (Pointing to trophy)
It ended happily. It was a difficult day, and I fought hard and didn't play the best golf, but I was fortunate to come out on top. And going into this break, I have 2 1/2 months off before I start the '08 season. All I care to remember is that I'm the 2007 HSBC Champion.

Q. You've had an eventful two weeks. You got sick in Singapore; you won here; your kids got to see The Great Wall. Will you be back in Asia next year?
PHIL MICKELSON: I sure hope so. I hope to be back here to defend my championship here. I think the HSBC Champions tournament here is becoming the premiere event in Asia. And it was a pleasure for me to be a part of it, and my family and I had a great week here in Shanghai. I love the city. We had so much fun down at the Bund. We had some of the best meals, some of the best food. We had some of the best entertainment with the Shanghai Circus World, acrobats, the gardens. We just loved the city and we certainly love the way the people treated us, and so we hope to be back.

Q. Tiger has played here and never won, do you think it brings you more confidence winning here and competing?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think the opportunity when I played Tiger head-to-head in the FedExCup in Boston was the tournament that gave me the most confidence to compete against him head-to-head. We played together three out of four round together, and I think that that was a chance -- that gave me a lot of confidence.
It is nice to win a tournament that Tiger has tried to win the last couple of years unsuccessfully. It's very exciting to me to be able to win this tournament.

Q. Your last title and only title away from America was in 1993; do you remember that, and do you think now you can go on further and win more titles overseas?
PHIL MICKELSON: I do remember the first one. It was the Euro Disney in Paris.
I think that now that my family is older, my kids are older, eight, six and four, I will try to play more tournaments overseas and use those trips as educational weeks for my family. And so I think I will have more opportunity to win overseas because I plan on playing more.
This week and last week has been a very educational two weeks for my family. We've seen and learned so much about an entirely different culture than what we're used to, and we are appreciative of the way the people have treated us because they have been wonderful to us and I hope to have a chance to do this more often.

Q. I heard one shout "get in the hole" today, so I --
PHIL MICKELSON: You did hear that? I didn't get the translation, sorry. (Laughter).

Q. But apart from that it was a different atmosphere to what we're used to. Can you talk about how it was to play and experience the Chinese galleries?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was very pleased at the way the people in China came and supported the golf tournament. I didn't know that there would be this much support for the event. I found the people to be very courteous and respectful to the players, and I thought that it was a pleasure to play golf here in China.
I hope that the game of golf takes off and grows here in China, because this is a great opportunity for the game of golf to develop more players.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you very much.

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