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April 11, 2010

Phil Mickelson


Q. 13, second shot, take us through it.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I had to hit a shot between those two trees, whether I laid up or went for the green, and I just decided to hit it 90 yards farther than a lay-up. I hit 6-iron from 197 -- 207 to the hole, only 187 to the front, and I just felt like a good 6-iron was going to be plenty. It was a shot where I kept saying if I just trust my swing, I'll pull it off. And I made a good swing, went right at the pin.

Q. What's the difference between a great shot and a smart shot?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I mean, a great shot is when you pull it off. A smart shot is when you don't have the guts to try it.

Q. If you could just talk about this accomplishment in light of what you've been through the last year for you and your family. Will you savor it in a different way?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's been a special and a very emotional week. This is the first time my family has traveled with me since The Players last year, and it made for really a fun week. And to win, man, this feels incredible.

Q. Talk about this being your third Masters victory.
PHIL MICKELSON: I love this place. I love coming here. I love Sunday at Augusta. Back in the '90s it was the most nerve-wracking day. Still is, but I've just come to love and cherish it, and to play some of my best golf this week as well as today just feels incredible.

Q. What did you say to Amy behind the 18th green?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know if we said anything, we just hugged. We just hugged.

Q. You said you feel at peace here. During the practice rounds when you did your press conference, you said something about this course just settles you down. If you can talk about that how that helped you this tournament.
PHIL MICKELSON: I played really well and hit a lot of good shots, but I made a few loose swings, like I tend to do, and on 9, 10 and 11 I made three things that weren't great, and I was able to salvage par; made great up-and-downs on 9 and 10, and I let my short game make par. Not every course gives you the opportunity to recover like that, and I feel when I play here I don't have to play perfect.
I hit a lot of good shots, I hit a lot of perfect shots, but I hit some that weren't, and to be able to recover on those holes and salvage par and not give anything back helps me relax. It's why I feel so at ease here.

Q. Lee Westwood said that you said some beautiful things to him in scoring about the way he's playing.
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I said that there's nothing I can say because I've been there, I know the feeling, but that he is one of the best players in the world and has been playing such, and I pull for him and hope that his major championship comes soon, because he's a quality individual, an incredible talent, and I hope that his major comes very soon.

Q. At what point did you feel that you had this, and can you feel comfortable coming up that stretch with a lead like that?
PHIL MICKELSON: I walked off 18 tee, and 100 yards off the tee I recalled the story of my first practice round that I played here with Arnold Palmer when he pulled me over to a spot where Mr. Cook congratulated him in 1961 when he had a one-shot lead, and he shook his hand, and he hit it in the bunker, and he made double bogey and lost by a shot. And as I was 100 yards off the tee, I said, "It is not over," and I remembered that story of playing with Arnold and tried to really focus in, because Lee was in a perfect spot to make birdie. If I mess up, if I don't hit a great second shot to have an easy par, we could be going into a playoff, and I wanted to finish it on 18.

Q. The second shot at 13, where does your rank on your list of all-time career shots?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, certainly it was critical and it was clutch and it came through at a great time, but it wasn't anywhere near as hard as some other shots. It may have looked hard, but there was a pretty good-sized gap between those trees and a pretty good lie. It was just a 6-iron, a lot of green left.
So it was -- yeah, it was good and it was clutch, but there have been some more challenging ones.

Q. When that putt on 2 hit --
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, when that happens on 2 you have to question, is somebody out to get me today, because I didn't see -- it wasn't there when I last looked at the putt, and right as I started it back is when it blew on line. And obviously it really affected the putt. Greens this speed, that's going to have a massive effect, and I had to wonder then. But fortunately things turned around.

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