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April 30, 2010

Phil Mickelson


Q. Can we just ask about your health and stamina because yesterday you said you were feeling it at the end.
PHIL MICKELSON: I feel much better. I think it was a quick little deal, a 48-hour thing, so I feel a lot better. I think for the weekend I should be 100 percent.

Q. 15, you made eagle. You and Bones today, club selection, three different choices there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, we couldn't tell what the wind was doing. Off the tee it was doing one thing, and as far as approach shot it was doing something else. We went back and forth. We were in between 4- and 5-iron, and ultimately I hit a hard 5, and it was enough.

Q. Back nine, no birdies, no bogeys; your thoughts on how that went.
PHIL MICKELSON: I kind of stalled on the back nine. I didn't take advantage of the par-5s. There were some tough holes. I didn't hit great shots throughout that nine holes, but I had opportunities on the two par-5s to make birdies and didn't and maybe let those slide.
Other than that, I'll certainly take the round. I had a good front nine, and the weekend should be good.

Q. What were you thinking when you made the turn and you were already 4-under par?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I thought I was going to get a few more on the front. There were some good birdie holes there with those two par-5s and No. 8, the par-4. I didn't hit great shots that nine holes and I didn't take advantage of the two opportunities I had on the par-5s which kind of stalled the round, but 4-under, I would say I'm in good position for the weekend.

Q. When you sign the card with a 68, how big were the par putts today compared to making those birdies, as well?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, those were big because I hit a couple of very poor shots today and was able to salvage par. I didn't make a bogey today, and it was due to those saves. That keeps the round going. It happened there through 16, 18, 1; those putts kept the round going.

Q. Do you think today was a bit of a continuation from yesterday?
PHIL MICKELSON: I want to try to improve each round, and I feel like I played well first round, I scored a little bit better today, didn't probably hit it as great. The weekend, though, I'm feeling much better. I should be 100 percent, and will hopefully have time to work on my game, get a little practice in and shoot lower scores.

Q. Lastly, how are you feeling?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I feel much better, and I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Q. You said the other day it's a good omen when you feel poorly sometimes.
PHIL MICKELSON: It is a good omen.

Q. Talk about your no-bogey round today.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a good front nine for me. I played the back first and was able to shoot 4-under and had a good round going. I kind of stalled the back nine. When I made the turn, I didn't hit some very good shots, and I had a couple of opportunities to make birdies on the par-5s and didn't take advantage of it. But I'll certainly take 4-under par. I'll take being 6-under heading into the weekend and having a good chance.

Q. 10 through 18, aren't they supposed to be tougher?
PHIL MICKELSON: Possibly, but again, I hit a few better shots on my front nine and towards the end hit a few wayward ones. So I'll certainly take it.
I had three or four really good par saves that kept the round going and kept the number where it was at, otherwise it could have slid.

Q. Are you back to normal, feeling 100 percent or close to it?
PHIL MICKELSON: Very close to it. I think this weekend I will be, so one more day of rest after we get done here, and I should be 100 percent for the weekend.

Q. Was it something you ate or was it just a bug?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think it was food poisoning.

Q. You were on bananas and liquids and I saw a granola bar.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I feel much better, and I even had a little protein this morning, so I should be okay.

Q. Does a birdie on 17 feel like something better?
PHIL MICKELSON: It does, it does. It's a bonus because I'm not trying to make 2 on 17. It's one of those holes like 17 at TPC Sawgrass; you just want a 3 and move on. Today the tee was up, not too much wind, the green was soft, and I ended up hitting a good shot slightly pushed by the hole, so I ended up having a three-footer for birdie.

Q. What gives you more satisfaction, the fact that you can save par and have a bogey-free round or to go out in 30?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think some of those par saves were more important. That shot on 16, there's a good example, too, I'm in the trees and it's probably a 5-iron. But I'm in the pine needles; reminiscent of 13 I take out my 6-iron and try to hook that and get it down by the green to where I could save par. Those par saves kept the round going because I hit a couple of wayward shots today. It wasn't my best ball-striking round by far, and yet I was able to keep the momentum of the round.

Q. I know it's important for you to try to get better each round. How do you compare yesterday to today?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I'll be able to practice a little bit. I didn't have any practice here these last couple days. It's been just the round. So I'll be able to get a little practice session in Saturday and Sunday and hopefully will be a little sharper.

Q. If there's no bad weather, how fast will this golf course be this weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON: This is a wonderful, fun golf course to play. The greens are very severe, and if you make them firm and fast like a major, it's not conducive to that. It's not designed for that. So the way the course is set up right now is perfect, so I hope that it doesn't vary too much.

Q. Which two clubs were you in between on 15, and which one did you choose?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was between 4 and 5, and I went with 5. We were originally going to go with 5 based on what the wind was doing off the tee, and then it kind of switched on us when we were in the fairway, and I didn't feel comfortable going against what I thought to be the prevailing wind and ended up guessing right.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, the thing about my putting now is that I have very good direction. Not only does it feel good and I'm putting well and making putts, but I feel like I have good direction to where I miss some or don't hit them know, I know what I did wrong and am able to fix it. But for the most part, I'm hitting a lot of good putts.

Q. There was so much expectation from golf to start this season because of the way you finished last year. Did it ever bother you? Did you get a little impatient with yourself early?
PHIL MICKELSON: What do you mean? It just started three weeks ago. (Laughter.)

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