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May 8, 2010

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: The pins were very challenging, and yet I went inside the scorer's tent and saw that there was a number of scores in the 60s. So there was some birdies out there.

Q. How glad were you to get off the golf course with the wind picking up?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it was windy when we played but the greens were a little bit more receptive this morning. I think the golf course evolved like I thought it would in the afternoon. The greens are firmer and the ball is hard to get stopped. I don't think that the ball is rolling quite as true in the afternoon, and so it's not going to be easy.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Unfortunately, I hit them all good. And I thought I made the one on 12, I thought I made the one on 11, and I should have made the one on 15. But that one kind of surprised me that it broke that much. Unfortunately, let a couple go. But played very well today.

Q. Do you need to be within five --
PHIL MICKELSON: It's not how many shots, it's how many people. We've seen for multiple years now leaders fall back. But if there's 12, 13 guys I've got to pass, that's a different story. But if there's only three or four that could be more strokes and still be doable.

Q. The shot on 11, about how far were you and what did you hit?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was 225 with a little bit of hurt, and I hit a 4-iron that was probably the best shot that I've hit all week.

Q. The eagle putt?
PHIL MICKELSON: Just went just over the high left edge. Had good pace. I thought it was right on line, and it just missed high.

Q. At the beginning of the year, do you make a list of goals? Are you one of those types of guys that likes to dangle the carrot? I don't know if world No. 1 is on that list, but do you do that type of checklist?
PHIL MICKELSON: New Year's a lot of us will get together and jot down things we want to accomplish the following year and put it in a jar and open it up the following year and see if we accomplished it.

Q. Family?
PHIL MICKELSON: A bunch of friends that get together around New Year's.

Q. Is that family?
PHIL MICKELSON: A lot of them are, yeah.

Q. What did you have into 18?
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit 3-wood off the tee and had 215 left back into the wind. I hit 4-iron, but the wind kind of died and the wind seemed to soar right through it.

Q. Was world No. 1 in the jar at New Year's?
PHIL MICKELSON: One of our things is we don't tell anybody what the goals are.

Q. When do you go back and read them?
PHIL MICKELSON: Next New Year's.

Q. Why did you hit 3-wood off the tee on 18?
PHIL MICKELSON: I was in between 3-iron and 3-wood. And I felt if I hit 3-wood it would still go through the fairway up the right-hand side and put me behind those trees, and I'd have to take a more aggressive line over the water, and into the wind. I wasn't sure how far it would carry over the water.
So I wanted to play a little more right. I don't think it was -- it could have gone either way. I don't think there was a right or wrong club. I could have hit 3-iron, 3-wood. It was going to be a tough par either way.

Q. You have 12 rounds in a row under par. Do you feel like you can do something here?
PHIL MICKELSON: I felt like things started to click a little bit today, and I think I've got one more low round in me. I just hope that it will be enough, that I'll be within striking distance.

Q. At any point in your career, whether it was because where Tiger was with the ranking or where you were in your career, did you think that No. 1 was not possible for you or not going to happen?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know why you keep asking about that. I mean, we're right in the middle of a tournament here. That's the last thing on my mind right now. I'm trying to get ready for tomorrow's round and again, get in striking distance, and you keep changing the subject.

Q. The one on 16, what did you do there and what was your reaction? It almost went in.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, I hit a good shot for my second after a drive in the trees there. And I thought it was going to be right down the green and it hit the tree and fell straight down. On the green was downhill, down grain, so it had to just get on the green to get it close, and I thought it hit it perfectly. But looking at it, had it not lipped out, it probably would have gone eight or ten feet by. So I'm fortunate it hit the hole.

Q. For the guys that are going out this afternoon, how much different is 9 and 10 even though it's just one shot on the board?
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't think 9 and 10 were overly difficult for the reason --

Q. No, I meant your numbers.
PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, 9 and 10. From my point of view, double digits under par looks a lot better than single, and so that bogey on the last stings. But nothing I can do about it now. I just have to go out tomorrow and shoot a low round. I just, again, hope I'm within striking distance.

Q. Were you surprised the putt stopped on 18?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it hopped on me. I was in the fringe and it was into the grain and it kind of jumped and took a little bit of steam off it.

Q. Did you think it was a wedge or was it putter all the way?
PHIL MICKELSON: Again, the course is in great shape, but the one challenging part is the chipping areas because the ball sits so low the grass isn't supporting it. And I was sitting down in the grass into the grain. I knew the ball would pop up a little bit, I just misplayed it, and I did not think about chipping it because contact would have been a real issue.

Q. Are you playing as well as you were at Augusta do you think? Are you at that level again?
PHIL MICKELSON: That's not far off, yeah. That's not far off. I thought that I hit -- I hit a lot of good shots this week -- today, similar to Augusta, yeah.

Q. Is it hard to get back? Was there an inevitable letdown after a win like that?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, there's no letdown. It's still something I reminisce about. It was such a fun week. I mean, I could look at that tournament and that round, that final round, and get momentum from it. And it helped me here, helped me this week. It was the first thing that Bones and I talked about in the car today. You know, it was the coolest tournament to win. So even though I wasn't looking good, it just gives me a little bit of momentum and positive thoughts thinking about it.

Q. What will you do this afternoon?
PHIL MICKELSON: What I've done the last five days, go to Five Guys Burgers. That place is so good. I can't stop going there. This will be my sixth day in a row. I grew up on In-n-Out. I thought that was the best burger until I had Five Guys. That is hands down the best burger I've ever had.

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