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February 9, 2008

Phil Mickelson


Q. What happened?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, if I knew -- I was on the 14th hole. I went after a drive. I felt like I could get it right in front of the green and try to make a birdie. I was at 2-under and the leaders were around 8, and I felt like if I could make three or four coming in I'd have a chance to win, and I ended up pulling two of them out of bounds and I made an 11. That was basically the cut.
But I needed to make a birdie there on 14. I felt like if I could birdie 18 and maybe one or two more and I would be within striking distance of the leaders. That was kind of the thinking. I don't know, the ball kind of shot a little right on me.

Q. I know you've probably erased it from your memory bank, but do you remember the last time you made double digits on a hole?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, that was probably the biggest score, but that's not really what cost me the day or cost me the tournament. It was missing all those putts, because had I had anything go in today, I wouldn't have had to try to force something there at the end.

Q. You have a really nice smile on your face, which I think is admirable, considering what you went through out there. How do you handle it when something like that happens?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I putted these greens well in the past. I grew up on poa annua. I felt like I hit a lot of good putts that just didn't go in. I need to work on my speed, I need to work on my reads, and I'll spend the next couple of days doing that back home.
But I love Riviera, I played well there last year, I putted the greens well last year. If I can just get something to turn, I feel like I'm striking it well. I feel like it'll be a good week next week; I can't believe the way I scored this week.

Q. Are you mad at yourself, disappointed? How would you describe it?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's just the way it sometimes goes. Sometimes I just don't score well, and I try not to weigh too much into that because I hit a lot of good shots this week, I just didn't get much out of it.

Q. Any thoughts for next week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know, I think that I'm looking forward to playing Riviera. I think that I hit -- I'm striking the ball not too bad. I mean, certainly better than what the score shows. And so I'm looking forward to next week. The next three days I've got to get this putter worked out because I putted terribly this week, and I didn't feel like I hit them too bad.

Q. I heard you saying that you hit a good drive on 14 and then --
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I took an aggressive line and went right at a bunker trying to get it down as close as I could, and ended up trying to take a hybrid, I was trying to get it right in front of the green. I was 2-under, I hadn't made any putts. The only birdie I had made was a tap-in. I felt like I needed to get it close, so I had a 64-degree wedge in the bag, I thought I'd put it right in front of the bunker and just flip it up and make birdie, and it ended up it shot me on right and went out of bounds, and then I did it again.

Q. For a golfer, doing the same thing twice, is it sort of like you can't believe it?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it happens unfortunately. But I was trying to get myself within striking distance of the leaders. Nobody really ran away with it, and I just wasn't able to do it.

Q. What do you try to work out on the greens? What's going on?
PHIL MICKELSON: I thought I was hitting them solid. I wasn't hitting them as solid. I wasn't reading them right and my speed wasn't right. I've got to work on that.

Q. How disappointing is it for a tournament that you've played really well at?
PHIL MICKELSON: It is disappointing, but I'll be back next year. What was nice was the weather was great. We didn't have to fight it, we didn't have to struggle. There were no delays. The weather was terrific. I'll look forward to coming back next year like I always do.

Q. How numbing is it to be within five or six shots of the lead and hit the ball nicely and an hour later you're on your way home?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, well, I mean, I wish I was playing tomorrow. We're going to have great weather. Pebble is in great shape, and I wish I had a shot at winning.

Q. Have you ever had a turnaround like that so quickly?
PHIL MICKELSON: Unfortunately I have, yeah. It happens.

Q. Is this something you can just throw away, not worry about it, move on?
PHIL MICKELSON: Probably, because I don't feel like there's anything major in the way I'm striking it. I hit a lot of good iron shots this week in general, and I just never got -- never felt good on the greens. So I'll have to -- and they were perfect. They were the best they've been in years. I don't know what the deal is. They were rolling the best that I've ever seen them.

Q. After the second hybrid OB, then --
PHIL MICKELSON: Hit a 5-iron down the fairway.

Q. And then can you describe your lie when you missed the green to the left, what you had?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I hit it on the green, but it didn't stay there, it kind of started and went down, went way down the hill. I was under a tree in mud. I kind of fatted it up.

Q. What was your yardage you were hitting the hybrids to?
PHIL MICKELSON: I had 247 front. It was into the wind. I thought I'd be five yards short of the bunker.

Q. Dave Pelz is here; had you worked with him on putting?
PHIL MICKELSON: Probably we'll talk, yeah.

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