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February 14, 2010

Phil Mickelson


Q. You're all about education. I think you may have taught the field something about how to play 14 today, a par-5 you have had some trouble with before. Three nines out there. You went ahead and blew it over the green in two. A smart play?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it was playing longer than normal with the right-to-left wind off the tee, and then into you up by the green.
But I hammered a couple shots there. When I was hitting my second, the wind kind of stopped and wasn't really hurting, and I was able to get it not only yo the green, but it flew just past.
I was in a great spot to get up-and-down. Easy little shot with a ton of green to work with. Hit an okay chip to eight feet and didn't make it, but I was thinking a hard par hole, and I was able to try to make birdie.

Q. Why did the course play so tough today?
PHIL MICKELSON: Opposite wind than when we're used to and from a different direction. Not off the ocean and not towards the ocean. So first time I've ever played 18 into the wind, yesterday and today, the first two times. That just makes the course play a little bit different. I don't know why it made to play is difficult but it is different.

Q. What did you learn the last three weeks between San Diego and here? Where are with regards to your game now?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's been an interesting three weeks to kind of assess where I've been at. I'm starting to hit the ball very well. I've struck it well this week, and am struggling again on the greens.
I'm gonna take next week off. We have a family trip planned. Towards the end of the week I'll spend sometime with Stockton and (indiscernible) see if I can get the short game, see if I can get the putter dialed in for my next event, which will be Phoenix.

Q. Do you feel like that's an issue, more the short game than it is the ball-striking?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I've been striking it very well. The stats are showing that, too, that I've been hitting ball well and I'm not getting anything out of it.
It takes a lot of momentum out of you when you keep hitting it 8, 10, 12 feet and you keep missing the putts.
I'll get that turned around. I know that when I got it turned around last year things started falling in place. I don't feel like it's far off.

Q. How would you characterize these three weeks if you had to just sum it up?
PHIL MICKELSON: They weren't what I had hoped for, but they gave me a good idea of what I need to work on for the rest -- for the near term and the rest of the year.

Q. David Duval is coming into this hole one shot back. We haven't seen him up there much except for at the U.S. O[pen with you last year. You were around him when he was at his best playing against him. Can you talk about how good he was back, 8, 10 years ago.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, well, he was an extremely solid player and that he struck it so flush and pure with such a penetrating ball flight through the air. Had a great short game, and was so solid from 6, 8 feet in. Just hit his putts so solid that never looked like he would miss.

Q. Give shim some credit for perseverance, to keep at that time it like he has?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, he knows he has it in him. He's done it before. I think that makes it a little bit easier.

Q. Did you learn anything from the last couple days looking towards the U.S. Open?
PHIL MICKELSON: Possibly. It was good to see what the rough cut was going to be. Knowing how much firmer and faster the golf course will play in June, it will be a very defensive course off the tee with so many fairways being cut in and brought over towards the water.
No. 6 and 8 are good examples, No. 9, 10, 11. These fairways now are so much tighter. 16. It will be a very defensive off-the-tee strategy.

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