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May 1, 2010

Phil Mickelson


Q. Why did you have Bones leave the flag in for that first putt? You scared me.
PHIL MICKELSON: There was no way to get the ball anywhere near the hole, so I had to play 10 feet to the right and just try to get it about pin high, and I felt the pin would help me with depth perception, which it did. I ended up getting it down there as close as possible.
For as beautifully designed as this golf course is tee to green, the greens are by far the worst designed greens we play on TOUR. Even though they're in immaculate shape, I would say that 18 would be the worst green that we have on TOUR, except that it's not even the worst on this golf course; 12 is.

Q. You've got to be happy with the way that you were hitting the driver. 350 yards on 15?
PHIL MICKELSON: I gave that one a little extra. That hole sets up well because the wind is coming from left to right off the water so I can stand up and swing aggressively towards the water and draw it off of it, which is why I was able to hit a hard draw there and get that kind of distance.

Q. Tell me about the rest of your day. You must be pretty happy. This golf course played completely differently than the first two rounds.
PHIL MICKELSON: It did. It was much tougher today. There was a lot more wind, and the greens had a lot of traction on them, so some of those five- and six-footers weren't tracking as smooth as they were yesterday morning. I was able to fight, though, and keep the ball in play, control my misses somewhat, and even though I didn't quite have it all today, get a score to where I'm in contention for tomorrow.

Q. That's got to make you happy, being in contention going into Sunday.
PHIL MICKELSON: That's right, that's what's so fun and so exciting.
It was a different course for the leaders today. It started to blow, the wind got a little stronger as the afternoon rounds started, and the greens weren't anywhere near as smooth. They had a lot of traction, and as they dried out they also spiked up, so those five- and six-footers that had been tracking so nicely, they were much more difficult.

Q. How do you feel about the way you stand right now?
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't have it today. I didn't have great control over my ball-striking and missed a number of putts that I probably could have made. But I controlled the misses, I kept the round in check, and because of the difficult conditions was able to shoot a number that kept me in contention for Sunday, so I'm excited about my opportunities tomorrow. I'll be able to talk to Butch tonight, have a late tee time, so I'll have time to work on it in the morning and hopefully get it turned around and feel confident heading into the final round.

Q. Is this a place that tests your patience a little bit?
PHIL MICKELSON: It does test your patience, yes. It's easy to get frustrated with some of the shots that you get left with out here.
I ended up shooting 1-under and was able to keep myself in contention for Sunday, so I'm pleased with that. It was a very difficult course today as the winds picked up as we started to tee off. The greens had a lot more traction and weren't quite as smooth as they were yesterday morning, so it was a lot more challenging course.

Q. What kind of challenge did you face on 17 today?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, 17 I put it in a spot. That shot, that hole, is feast or famine. Left is obviously water. If you hit the green, you can usually two-putt, and if you miss it right, the severity of the chipping area and the severity of the green gives you no chance to try to make par. So it's feast or famine; either hit the green or you're going to make bogey.

Q. Did you feel like with your ball-striking today you should have gotten a better score today?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I didn't feel like that. I struck it great today. I felt like I didn't have total control over where I was going to hit it, and so I was much more cautious with club selection and with my lines into the green. I felt that I played smart, though, because when I didn't have it, I was able to keep the ball in play, control the ball enough and maneuver it around some of the challenging places here to where I could shoot a number that kept me in contention. Fortunately for me the conditions were tough, so nobody went low.

Q. Did you pretty much just warm up and go today?
PHIL MICKELSON: I did work a little bit on chipping. I didn't get enough time on ball-striking. I'll talk to Butch tonight. It doesn't feel far off, and I think I have a pretty good idea out there what it is I'm trying to do, but we'll discuss it, and because I'll have a late tee time tomorrow I'll have plenty of time to work on it.

Q. Do you think that the fan feedback is up even another notch from normal for you?
PHIL MICKELSON: I just think that's Charlotte, though. We get a lot more people at this tournament, and they're very supportive, and I think that it might be that.

Q. Do you attribute the traction on the greens to your putting? You had a couple three-putts.
PHIL MICKELSON: Maybe. Yeah, there were a couple that you have to cozy down there, and they don't track perfectly. The one I want back is on 11; it was an uphill four-footer. That's the one I'd like back. But I made some good ones. The putt I made for par on 13, the par-3, and the putt that I made on 18, I two-putted on 18, those I'll gladly take and be pleased with the round.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, well, on 18 I can't go at that pin from where I was on the green, so I had to play ten feet to the right, and I felt like just leaving the pin in would help with depth perception. For as beautifully designed as this golf course is from tee to greens, the greens are some of the worst designed greens that we have on TOUR, and 18 is one of them. I would say 18 is the worst on TOUR except it's not the worst on this golf course, 12 is, and we have some ridiculous putts here that you just can't keep on.
But my mistake there was hitting it past the pin. I know that green is ridiculous. I never should have put myself in that position.

Q. On 14 it looked like you wanted to hit driver and Bones talked you out of it a little bit. What's the thought there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, I wanted to hit driver and hit it down to that right bunker. Again, that pin is where the green goes away and it's down-grain, and it goes away from you there.

End of FastScripts

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