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August 26, 2009

Phil Mickelson


Q. What do you think of your golf course since you're a member here?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I love it. I love it because I think the shots around the greens have been very well thought out. I think the greens have movement to them, but it's subtle movement. It's not these big humps and hollows that modern architecture seems to have. The rough doesn't go right up to the edge of the green. There's a lot of shaved areas that extends out. There's a lot of movement, so you get different lies, and I think around the greens it's within very well thought out. I think it's hard, though. It's a hard golf course. Tee-to-green it's very demanding.

Q. How many times have you played this before?
PHIL MICKELSON: Just a handful, just five or six.

Q. How did it come about that you joined here?
PHIL MICKELSON: I do a lot of outings here and I wanted to develop a relationship with the Club. This is the ideal club, it's right by hand Manhattan. The practice facilities are great and the golf course is fun to play, so it was a natural to join.

Q. What do you think of the aesthetics?
PHIL MICKELSON: Amazing, driving by the ferry, staying in Manhattan this week, seeing the Statue of Liberty. The second hole is a par 3 and right behind the pin is the Statue of Liberty. It's awesome. What a cool feel, unlike any course in the world.

Q. What does that add to the stature of the event itself?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think that the stature of the event is one thing. I think the feel of the event is what it really adds to it. I think that New York has tremendous sports fans and they come out and support this like no other community.
To be able to be right by Manhattan is amazing. Golf has never been this close, and to have a world-class golf course in such great shape to host one of our big events is really neat.

Q. Next year they move to Ridgewood and there's so many courses in this area, some people were a bit surprised that such a new venue like this was chosen. What was your thought on that?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, they haven't come out and seen it. They haven't seen the course and how challenging it is and how fun to play.

Q. Guys were talking about the wind gets up, the fairways are tight; is that the biggest challenge if the wind gets going?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's one of the most demanding courses off the tee that we play on TOUR. And into the greens is every bit as demanding and the greens are fast and tough to putt, and so it's just a tough test. But it's a fair test and around the greens, it doesn't take wedge or take your short game out. It gives you a variety of shots. We'll see guys putting from off the green. We'll see guys bump-and-run. We'll see flop shots. We're going to see all kinds of shots around the greens and it's that kind of creativity and options, this course gives players options.

Q. In years past you were probably winding down your season after the PGA. How is it this year? Obviously you took a lot of time off with Amy's situation, but how is your game's arc?
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't play well the two weeks of Akron and the PGA. I had a good week practicing and I'm excited about the Playoffs and playing some of these events, and I'll hopefully play well. I'll have a good feel of if I'm playing well when this tournament starts.

Q. Will you play them all, do you think?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not sure. I'll take it week-to-week. I certainly would like to but I don't know if I will.

Q. Does the success in the Cup save your season? Is that the right word?
PHIL MICKELSON: No. It was a year I already won a couple of tournaments. It wasn't like it was a bad year. I didn't have the last -- the last two majors I didn't play as well as I would have liked at all.
So next year hopefully we'll get this stuff behind us and get some of the day-to-day things, we have good days and bad days, so hopefully we'll have more good days and next year I'll be able to play a little bit more and we'll put this behind us. But until then, it's fine.

Q. This will be two tournaments in three weeks since you had the layoff. Do you find yourself maybe getting back into the groove now?
PHIL MICKELSON: A little bit. We are trying to make this work. The kids start school next week. There's a lot of other things going on, too. We'll see how it goes.

Q. Have you looked closely at the points system and have you given any thought as to whether this is better or going to work?
PHIL MICKELSON: I haven't paid attention. I think that it's been fixed but you know, we thought that the last couple of years, too. So who knows. Hopefully it will because if we can have some excitement in that final event, I think it would be great for the TOUR and great for the game.
These events right now are perfect. They are not competing against football. We have excitement with the best players in the world playing and even though they are not considered major championships, they are huge in the minds of the players and I think without much competition, there's going to be a lot of interest in them.

Q. Theoretically, you could win these next three events and finish fourth or fifth at East Lake and not win the FedExCup. That's one of the things that kind of came up as we looked at it closer. I guess based on that, what would winning the FedExCup mean?
PHIL MICKELSON: Ten million. (Laughter).

Q. In terms of does it seem like all of the apples are thrown into THE TOUR Championship, and is that such a bad thing? Because it does seem guaranteed to at least make that last event meaningful.
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not really sure which is best. I don't know. I mean, there's a bunch of different ideas and so forth that we could have used and we'll probably keep tweaking it until it settles in and seems to be working. And even then, I wouldn't be surprised if we tweaked it years from now. Augusta National gets tweaked every year and that place is a gem. I would imagine we keep tweaking it as we go and making it better.

Q. Do you like the idea of let's say you win three or four times in the year and you get 500 points for each of those wins, you win a major and you get 600 points and somebody could win two FedExCups events and get 5,000 points. Does that seem a bit off?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I haven't looked at the points. I just know if you play well, you do well. If you win here, you're going to move up pretty high. And that's the way it should be.

Q. Are you doing the water shuttle?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's cool.
Thanks, guys.

End of FastScripts

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