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June 12, 2008

Phil Mickelson


Full Audio Interview

PHIL MICKELSON: It was not the best round. I made a couple mistakes early on, but the back nine I made some birdies.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: It was pretty interesting to tee off at 8 o'clock and have this many people out here. I was pretty impressed and.

(Sound is off).

Might take place in a Regular Tour event.

Q. How would you gauge the allegiance of the gallery?

PHIL MICKELSON: I thought it was great and the reason I'm so proud is that, this is my hometown and everybody out here was so respectful. There wasn't any derogatory remarks. Whether they pulled for any of the three of us, everybody was really cool today. I was very proud to be from here.

Q. The birdies on the back nine. The string. Talk about that momentum.

PHIL MICKELSON: The only putt -- the only good putt I really made all day was on 10. It was about a 25-footer up the hill that tracked in. I had a number of putts that looked like they were going to go in and just went by the edge. That putt on 18, certainly I'm just trying to get it close, but it looked like it was going to go in with five feet to go.

And the other birdies, the longest putt was about a 4-footer on 14. I had the 2-putts on 1 and 18.

Q. Your driver, Phil, not a driver, we talked all about it this morning. What is it? The 11 and a half degree?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, no, that's my 3-wood I've been using all year. You noticed that I didn't have a driver today, huh? My game plan was that I only want to hit it a certain distance, I don't really want to hit it past 300 yards on most of the par-4s because it starts running into the rough. And I felt like with the fairways being firm like they were today all I needed was 3-wood on the holes.

Now if it rains or gets softer, I'll certainly pull driver out. But my game plan for months was, if it's firm fairways like I expected, 3-wood was all I needed. And I was able to take advantage of the two par-5s and get home no problem and that's all that, that's the most important thing.

Q. Did you have it in there in the practice rounds as well?

PHIL MICKELSON: I carried driver, I just didn't hit it.

Q. (Inaudible).

PHIL MICKELSON: I have four wedges. I took out my sand wedge. I teed off with 3-wood and hybrid all day today.

Q. Was it disappointing early, having not used driver, and using that game plan, when you weren't hitting the fairway?

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, yeah. When I hit it in the rough -- I had been hitting almost all the fairways with this 3-wood in practice rounds and so forth. So when I made some terrible swings and hit in the rough it kind of defeats the game plan because now I'm short and crooked.

But when I started hitting fairways coming down the stretch I made birdies. So I expect to swing a little bit more confidently like I did the back nine as opposed to the start and I know this happens when I play and don't play the week before a Major. I'm always a little rusty the front nine. And I'm glad that I was able to keep it in check and only shoot a few over and recover on the back.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: It's fine. Yeah, it kind of stung a little bit on 12, but it's fine.

Q. Who you would you assess where you are?

PHIL MICKELSON: Even par. I haven't looked at where the field is. Anything around par is kind of your target for the U.S. Open. And I should have a chance tomorrow to try to keep it around par, maybe get a couple birdies here or there, but really that's the gauge. I don't really look at what everybody else is doing because I just feel like it all seems to gravitate towards.

You make some birdies, you seem to come back to par, you make some bogeys, you always make some birdies to get back to even.

Q. Talk about the rust on the front nine. Is that the difference of the two nines essentially in terms of the way you played them you shook the rust off?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I guess I could say it was rust or I just made a couple of dumb mistakes. I hit a terrible putt on 5. I put it right where I needed to and if it wasn't going to be close and had an easy 40-footer uphill and rammed it way by.

Then put it on a bad spot on 6 and from not really a hard shot. And I just put it in different spots there. So I don't know if it's rust or just poor decision making. But the back nine I got it turned around and hit some good shots.

Q. The 3-wood, is that a decision you'll make before the round?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, it will have to rain and soften the fairways for me to put anything, a club that goes longer than that 3-wood.

Q. How strong is that 3-wood?

PHIL MICKELSON: Just a normal 3-wood. You guys haven't hit our knew Callaway FT fairway woods, have you? They go a long way.


Q. Is it like 15 degrees?


Q. What did you hit into 13 and 14?

PHIL MICKELSON: 13, I hit a 3-wood, but it went into the rough, so I hit a hybrid out and ran it up the, landed just short of the green and hopped on.

18, I hit a 3-wood off the tee and I would have had a 4-iron in, I would have hit 4-iron, but I was on a downhill lie so I had to kind of create a shot to carry the water, because I opened up a hybrid and hit a big carving slice to get it on.

I'm sorry, 14 you said. I hit hybrid off the tee and an 8-iron to four feet.

Q. The first shot from the rough on 12, you looked like you weren't going to get your club to it and then did it just play differently than you thought?

PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't even think I could get a sand wedge there. I thought if I could just get -- I had as good a chance with that hybrid as I did with a sand wedge.

Q. Pretty remarkable third shot there to get on the green.

PHIL MICKELSON: The lie was good. It sat up on the grass, so I was able to get it there.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: 217 front. So what was it, 28 on. 245.

Q. When was last time you didn't carry a driver in a TOUR event?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think I ever have. I know Pelz has been wanting me to play a tournament without hitting driver, hitting 3- woods all the way through. So here you are, Dave.

Q. (Inaudible.)


Q. Did you consider doing that for long?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, look, when the fairways run out like this, it's, you can only hit it a certain distance and really, and then the fairways start tightening up. So of course they look pretty tight for me the first 12, 13 holes, too.

Q. I know you were in your own game, your own world, but how did Tiger play?

PHIL MICKELSON: I thought he played great. He drove it well. He hit some great par putts. He had three of the best par putts I've seen from 15 and 25 feet. I thought that he fought hard and hit a lot of good shots.

Q. Does that propel you going into tomorrow, you know you were able to come back from plus and get some good birdies?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, probably. I just feel like, again, whether it's today's round, tomorrow's round or any round you're just trying to keep it around par. Trying not to make too many big mistakes, sneak a birdie here or there and it will be a good tournament.

End of FastScripts

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