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July 31, 2008

Phil Mickelson


Q. Not a lot of birdies, but I guess it's still pretty good, huh?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I didn't capitalize on some opportunities that I had and didn't make as many birdies as I would have liked. But I hit a lot of good shots, drove the ball well and played aggressively throughout the day. When I did get in trouble on a couple of holes I was able to get down and salvage par.

Q. Could you talk about the last birdie?
PHIL MICKELSON: On 18? I hit a bunch of good drives, and I felt very comfortable, and I just held on to one on 18. I don't know where that came from. I had been driving it great, and it went into -- the one spot you can't go on 18 is left. You can make par from the right okay, but left is just nothing. I was looking to go up over the trees left, I was looking to go out directly right, and I just -- I don't know what, I saw a little bit of a gap. It was a risky play, though, because I couldn't hit it very high or it would hit the trees, and if I hit it low it catches the rough and stays there. So it was risky, but it paid off because I was able to not only salvage par but I ended up making a birdie.

Q. Did you have a yardage from there?

Q. What did you hit?

Q. So you flew that 4-iron 169?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I didn't fly it, I hit it low into the trees, kept it down, landed well short and ran up.

Q. What all were you considering using there?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was looking at maybe a wedge or a 9-iron to go left of the trees, go up and over and around, and then I couldn't get -- I didn't feel I could get it up over the trees. So I was looking at maybe an L-wedge. But I didn't feel I could get it all the way back to the right of the fairway because I had to aim left.
Then the other option was just to go out directly right and try to hit it about 70 yards. I didn't really like those shots.

Q. Of all the courses that you play, where does Firestone rank in there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Firestone, to me, depends on the setup. This year it's one of my favorite courses. You fall in love with a golf course when you have a setup that's as wonderful as this. The greens are fast, the pin placements are great, the rough is challenging but fair and it lets you hit some recovery shots and it lets you hit some shots around the green to get up and down. This year Firestone is one of my favorite golf courses that we have on TOUR.
Last year, not so much. Last year was a different setup. But this year all the guys are talking about how much they love it because we can play it. We can hit shots, we can be creative and challenge ourselves with some recoveries like on 18. I brought 6 into play, sure, but that wouldn't have even been a possibility last year.

Q. Were the setups more like that in the early years when you had success here?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was, but that's not why I've struggled. I don't have a reason why the last couple years I haven't played well. I feel comfortable on this course, and I expect to perform well. So the last four or five years I don't have a good explanation.

Q. You and Vijay and Goosen and Els under par, it's kind of like the good ol' days, huh?
PHIL MICKELSON: Again, I think that when the course is set up like this you have a chance to recover and hit shots and be creative, and that gives the top players an opportunity to showcase their talents, I feel.

End of FastScripts

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