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November 9, 2008

Phil Mickelson


Q. How pleased are you with the way the day worked out?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a challenging day with the wind being so strong and it being cold. There were very difficult pin placements there today. But again, because of the soft conditions, you could make some birdies, so there were some good rounds out there that I saw.
But also, if you didn't hit it well, there were a lot of scores over par. It was a much different course today, and I don't know how it will play tomorrow, but I'm glad that I'm in the last group because it can only get easier tomorrow, I would think.

Q. Finding yourself in that last group; presumably that's what you're here for.
PHIL MICKELSON: That's true. Either the last or second to last, and to have a chance to win is exciting. I would love to try and defend my title, and getting in position within two shots of the lead is a good start.

Q. Are you one of those players that does feed off the memories of a previous performance?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think going into a tournament, you have a lot of positive thoughts and positive memories having won on a certain golf course and typically players will play well year-in and year-out on certain venues and winning last year certainly put this venue high up on my list.

Q. I saw your comments on being a 72-hole tournament, over sadly five days, but it is the right thing to do for a tournament of this calibre, isn't it?
PHIL MICKELSON: I believe it is. The effort the U.S. Tour has made now and the commitment to play 72 holes is the right decision, and a tournament of this magnitude deserves to be played over 72 holes. This is one of the best tournaments around the globe, and one of the strongest fields; and to finish short of 72 holes, wouldn't be fair I think to the event, the sponsors, the fans here in China, as well as the players.

Q. Do you handle those disruptions in your stride, just one of those things?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's just part of professional golf, and it happens all the time and throughout the year. Weather delays are part of being a professional golfer. But it changes your mind-set significantly when the event gets cut from 72 to 54 holes, and it's important to know that, it's important to know how many holes we have. It's important because it changes your decision-making and thought process while out playing.

Q. And I take it can certainly change your approach when you're in a different part of the world like this, as opposed to when you're home.
PHIL MICKELSON: That might be true. But again, it's more relative to the field and relative to the leaders: Do I need to make a more aggressive decision to make birdie, or is now not the time; shall I play a little more conservative, keep myself in the tournament, don't shoot myself out and maybe make up ground over the last nine holes, as opposed to trying to force it right away.

End of FastScripts

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