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May 31, 2008

Phil Mickelson


Q. A pretty good round and improvement from yesterday to today. What maybe stepped up for you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Gosh, I don't know what the difference was between yesterday's and today's round. It was -- they were pretty comparable, but certainly my score today was better. It was windy and challenging, but for the most part I hit a lot of good shots and just kind of kept it around par and then birdied a couple coming in. But it was playing pretty tough though.

Q. We actually ran into a kid on five, there's a bunch of moments that players have where they hit a ball off target and maybe hit somebody in the gallery. We ran into a kid. Can you talk about those moments you have on the course where I think you might have given him a glove or something like that?
PHIL MICKELSON: That's because I nailed him right in the knee.
And honestly, I didn't even yell fore because I thought it was going to be perfect. It was right in the middle of the green, but the wind, it's just tough to judge whether that particular shot I was hitting left-to-right wind but sometimes it was helping, sometimes it was hurting. And with the water short, I stepped on a hybrid there and thought it was going to be in the back part of the green and it flew right into the poor kid's knee.
Yeah, I mean, you know, it would be a commercial about that and we're having to get a banquet room, I guess.

Q. Conditions. Wind today versus wind yesterday, with the greens the way they are today?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I think the toughest thing about the wind is the putting. I know it's tough to pull a club, but the putting is what's making it so tough. Once the -- if you get a putt going downwind, you can't get it to stop. You can't control the speed. And then into the wind, it's obviously a lot easier, but it just -- it's just a lot slower, but at least it will stop when you want it to.

Q. Would you be surprised to learn that Kenny Perry's skipping qualifying for the U.S. Open because he doesn't like Torrey, doesn't want to go, is going to play these events kind of around it where he's had better luck? Could you envision that he's 47 and he has a bunch of weeks in a row that he's going to play?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I understand it. I actually really understand it. I think that his reasoning is just to try to get on the Ryder Cup team. I understand that. I think after last year's U.S. Open I understand why a lot of guys would bypass it, sure.

Q. Talk about going from a regular TOUR event on the same course to a Major event, to a Major, a U.S. Open. Do you think it's worth 2 shots --
PHIL MICKELSON: You mean the U.S. Open setup, how much tougher it is?

Q. Yeah. Talk about that.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's very, it's hard to assess now, because it varies year to year. We'll get a year like Pinehurst where around the greens -- they will be shaved around the greens and we'll get a setup like Bethpage that's very fair but tough when the weather is up or we'll get a setup like last year. It's hard to gauge how much more difficult the U.S. Open course is relative to a normal TOUR event.

Q. Is there any similarity between here and Torrey that you might get a benefit out of playing here?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, there's really not. You've got poa annua greens there, you got Kikuyu rough, you have sand, a different kind of sand, the texture, and it's raked differently. The fairways are not shaved down to like green length as they are here. They're that Kikuyu so the ball sits up. So chipping is totally different at Torrey. I think it's -- I don't see any similarities from that golf course to here. I wouldn't expect to. One is in southern California; one is in Ohio.

Q. How are the greens today?
PHIL MICKELSON: The greens are immaculate, they're beautiful, but the speed has made it tough. But the softness from the rain has made it much easier because they're so much more receptive that a ball will stick. So if you can just hit it on the surface, it should stay on there.

Q. You had that weird thing where you saw the ball wobbling?
PHIL MICKELSON: It rolled a couple inches.

Q. The ball rolled on 17?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it ended up rolling a few inches. I actually thought if the wind picked up it could roll down by the hole and I could have a tap-in, but that didn't happen. It's happened in the past, but...

Q. Did you see it kind of getting ready to go?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, and if I hit when it's blowing like that, the wind's just going to take it right off the green.

Q. Were there points at all when you were close to getting something going even lower than 2-under?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was 2-under early and then I doubled 17 and bogeyed 18. So those three -- I lost three shots there and got it back on the front. I shot 3-under the front.

Q. How did you get the double at 17?
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit it a drive just in the rough, second shot across the creek, just short of the green, and didn't have that bad a lie. I tried to hit just a high lob shot and it came off, yeah, it just jumped off the fairways and with spin and it went in the bunker. Bunker shot to 10 feet and missed it.

Q. Gary McCord said you missed a green yesterday by 10 or 15 feet and he said he had never seen you swing a club harder than you did with like a lob wedge?

Q. Is that accurate?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's accurate. I was a yard in the rough, 30 feet from the pin, and I couldn't -- I knew I couldn't hit the green. So I was trying to figure out if I wanted to try to go left or right and possibly keep it in the bunker so that it wouldn't go in the water. I didn't want to leave it where I was at because that wasn't very good either. Yeah, so it was as hard as I have ever swung at a shot, yeah.

Q. Can you talk about the conditions on this course, the setup?
PHIL MICKELSON: Everybody's got to play it.

End of FastScripts

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