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May 30, 2008

Phil Mickelson


Q. Talk about the conditions.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was tough. The wind made it challenging. But for the most part everybody had to play in it and it was just a tough test of golf.

Q. How was the day playing with Sergio?
PHIL MICKELSON: We had a good day playing both yesterday and today. Mike Weir played very well. He got off to a tough start, was 3-over and he fought back to get under par. Today he fought hard to have a good round. And he played by far the best of the three of us.

Q. Compare the rough to Oakmont last year or this rough.
PHIL MICKELSON: About the same. They're about the same.

Q. That bad?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's close, yeah.

Q. How much harder then was it than yesterday?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's harder. The tough thing was putting and chipping because it was about a 10 percent affect. So if you had a 50-footer the wind would blow it five feet. If it was straight it would blow five feet of break. So when you have a six-foot putt and you're trying to finesse another six or eight inches because you're not sure how the wind -- how much wind is going to affect it, that was I thought the biggest challenge. Obviously pulling clubs is tough, but on the greens was the biggest challenge.

Q. How much will the rain affect the greens if it rains tonight and tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON: If it softens up a little bit, it will obviously play a lot easier, but the rough will be tough. But that's not how you're going to play well. It will be easier to hit fairways, a lot easier to chip the ball close, because the greens are taking off and it's very hard to chip it close. But if the rain comes, I think we'll see some low scores. I think we'll see a lot of birdies.

Q. Talk about the one guy in the crowd out there today.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was just the one time. I tell you, we played two days and the people here are so terrific. They have said so many nice things for all three of us. It was a great two days. It was just one person and there was just one time, so I don't want to dwell on that, because gosh, for two days it was great.

Q. 14, were you pluggish there a little bit?
PHIL MICKELSON: Not pluggish, yeah, it was plugged.

Q. First of all, why is it so hard to hit that green with a wedge? What's the wind doing? A lot of guys were having trouble there.
PHIL MICKELSON: I think the tough thing about that was it was right-to-left wind, but the trees just right of the water kind of block it out so you don't really feel it until it gets up by the hole and then it seems to take it long and left in the bunker.

Q. Were you playing for your chip from the rough for par basically?
PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, you know, it was where could I make the easiest five after I plugged it. Yeah. I guess six people in the first few groups went in the water. And you can see how that would happen.

Q. Talk about your round.
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a lot of good shots. I hit a couple of breaks that weren't good shots that hurt my score a little bit. I got off to a tough start. But I played hard and I just wasn't able to get the ball in the hole, but I don't feel I was playing bad or hitting a lot of bad shots.

Q. (Asked about whether he has a chance to win.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Did you see I was 10 back? I don't know if you saw that. I don't know. I need some rough weather so the scores don't go too low and then I've got to play a great round.

Q. There was a lot of talk last year about a number of really tough setups week after week, whether it was Firestone, the Majors, etcetera, etcetera, and the idea that has it taken some of the fun away from the fans. But my question is, who do you think wants it this way, the TOUR, the tournament hosts?
PHIL MICKELSON: This year we have had great setups, we really have had terrific setups. Like Wachovia, they had this -- the first cut of rough extended out a little bit, and then it was thick rough. And Houston was all -- it was like Augusta. And Augusta is obviously great. Last week was the same way where you have a lot of flier lies. You didn't quite know how it was going to come out. I flubbed a bunch of chips last week and then I caught some that came out fast and it was really challenging.
And I think this year it's been great. We have had some wonderful setups that really give players an opportunity to separate themselves, because if you have a challenge like at Wachovia, if you hit it in the rough there, just in the rough two yards, you had to -- you really had a tough challenge and decision to make if you wanted to go for it, try to carry the water or not. But you had a decision.
And Houston was obviously the same way. I thought Colonial was great because there was so many -- so much guesswork as to how the ball was going to come out. It was like 18, my shot on 18 out of the trees, it came out a little, like a flier, and I pulled the shot off. If I had flubbed that, if it came out dead, it would have been right in the tree in front of me and it would have dropped down and I would be making six. And so there was some great risk-reward on those setups. And I really like those.

Q. Who makes the decision of the setup? Is it your call as players? Is it the TOUR?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know who does that or not. But I don't know. But we had great setups this year. One other thing that I really like that we're doing is I like making the hard holes harder and the easier holes easier so that you have birdies and bogeys. And Doral 18 is a great example. When you move the tee up and you can carry over the water, guys hit a good drive and they wedge 30 feet, and they make par, and if you make the easy holes tough, then you don't see any birdies. If you doctor the pin placements, you can't get a ball close. And what we have done a good job this year is we have made the easy holes the birdie holes, we have had good pin placements so you can get at it and make birdies. And 18 at Doral, you move the tee back and it's the tightest driver and we had a lot of fives and sixes and I think that the setup that we had to deal with this year has been great.

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