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June 11, 2009

Phil Mickelson


Q. Phil, welcome back. Great start.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, thank you. It was a good way to get started. It had a chance to be a low round because I made a couple early birdies, but I finished with some birdies late to get it back to 2-under. I'm pleased with the start. It's certainly not going to be on top of the leaderboard, but it didn't hurt me any.

Q. When the second one went in at 11, you must be thinking "Oh, boy."
PHIL MICKELSON: I did, yes, I absolutely thought that. I hit a couple of shots close to the next few holes. I made one poor swing with a 4-wood on 18 into the water. Other than that, I felt like I played pretty well.

Q. Was it what you had hoped for? You said yesterday you weren't quite sure where you were going to be focus-wise.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was. One of the pluses was the golf course was so fun. It's such a great track. The rain made it a little softer so we could get the ball stopped by the hole. The fairways are immaculate. I thought it was a fun course to play. It made me think strategically what clubs off the tee. The challenge of the course and the fairness of the course made for a great day.

Q. You and Padraig and Cameron had a great time.
A We really did. Two of the nicest guys on Tour. We had a lot of fun things to talk about.

Q. Talk about your round. Your thoughts on it.
PHIL MICKELSON: I thought it was a fun round. I thought that -- I really like the way the golf course is set up. It's fun, it's a challenge, but it's still fun and made a couple of birdies today. Got off to a good start, and I'll certainly take the round. It's not on top of the leaderboard. It's not a great round but a good start. Hopefully, I'll get it going tomorrow.

Q. Phil, was this as tough a round of golf as you've ever played with everything that's been going on?
PHIL MICKELSON: I thought the pairing I had, playing with Padraig and Cameron was a perfect pairing to make the day lighthearted. We talked about a number of things that were not related to what's been going on, and so it's been really good.

Q. How difficult was it to not think of Amy every step of the way?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's not likely to happen, but still it was fun for me to play a little bit. We have a vacation coming up that I'm excited for before we start treatment, and it should be fun. I feel good. I've got a break this afternoon and break tomorrow morning for Friday's round.

Q. The course seemed to change a little bit because of the conditions throughout the morning round. Going to be totally different this afternoon. Is that one of the intricacies of this course is way the wind is playing?
PHIL MICKELSON: It is. We had great scoring conditions this morning without much wind. The greens were soft because of the rain, rolling so true. The grass on these greens is just perfect that we had a lot of putts that went in.
I thought this morning it was ideal conditions. It looks like the wind is picking up a touch. It will make it a little more challenging on the course. Because of the soft greens, it's birdies.

Q. Take the one swing away on 18?
PHIL MICKELSON: The only really bad swing I made, I missed a couple fairways but not by much. I probably didn't get as much out of the round as I would like, but it's a good start.

Q. It's been awhile since you've been back.
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't been back since the renovations to the course. I think they turned out very good, really good. The grass on the greens is perfect. The ability to make them firm, the ability to withstand all this play and still roll perfect is a nice feature.

Q. (Inaudible)
PHIL MICKELSON: I see some things -- the pink out at Colonial is one of the nicest things I could ever imagine. That meant more to me than I can verbally express. At that time when it was our first week, week and a half of dealing with it, it came at a perfect time. And I have seen some out there today, and if that's the intent, it certainly means a lot.

Q. Did it feel normal out there?
PHIL MICKELSON: We don't have anything going on for three weeks. We have a family vacation coming up in a couple weeks right after the Open. These are tough -- these next three weeks are kind of tough for us to pass because there's nothing do until we get started. So we're trying to just do everything the same as we would, whether it's playing tournaments, getting the kids in camp, having playdates with other kids. We're trying to do all the normal stuff.

Q. Have you ever been to a Major without Amy?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, a few, sure. Winged Foot she didn't show up until the last day. It's tough because it's usually the last week of school.

End of FastScripts

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