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June 6, 2010

Phil Mickelson


Q. Phil, have you ever played a hole like you played on 15 today?
PHIL MICKELSON: Unfortunately, quite a few.

Q. The shot off the cart path?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it was a crazy hole. I hit a terrible drive, obviously. After birdieing -- chipping in on 14, I thought, gosh, if I could just birdie the house, you never know what might happen. 15 is a birdie hole. I was thinking maybe eagle. After that terrible drive, it kind of dashed my hopes for winning.
But what it did do was force me to just kind of play solid coming in, get a little bit of momentum heading into next -- well, ten more days for the U.S. Open.

Q. Phil, do you feel encouraged and confident now heading into the Open?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think I came here looking for confidence, and I found some. I also came here to see what areas of my game needed some work, and I found those.
I'll spend this next week, a lot of time on the greens, spending four or five days with Stockton, making sure my touch is sharp and ready for the Open. Putting is going to be so critical there.

Q. Did you hit the ball well enough that, if you putted well, you could have --
PHIL MICKELSON: I had a tough four days of putting. I didn't read the greens well, my speed wasn't great, and I missed a lot of them. So I think that, if I had a decent putting week, I think I could have given the leaders a bit of a run.

Q. Phil, I think your '92 Pebble was your first pro tournament. Also, first right around the time you started working with Bones. Could you ever have imagined it would have been this long, it would have developed into the relationship that you have with him?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think having Bones on the bag has been one of the most fortunate things that I've ever had, to have him in my life. He's a great friend as well as a great caddie.
I had an opportunity to play amateur -- some professional tournaments as an amateur and get to know him before I came out. He had written me a handwritten letter, and it was very impressive, and we gave it a try.
He's been every bit the class act that I hoped he would be.

Q. Do you think it's not a coincidence that someone like yourself -- to have a caddie for that long, there's something to be said for that? Why do guys switch all the time?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's not really my thing to switch around. I think that he understands my game. I understand him. We have a great interaction there.
Again, he's a lot more than a caddie to me.

Q. Phil, is it too early for you to start thinking about strategy and how to play Pebble?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, that's exactly what I'm thinking. That's what I'll be doing next week. The course won't be set up anything like the tournament. Because of that, the whole point of next week is to develop strategy, decide what club I'm going to hit off what tees with certain wind conditions and what holes I'll be attacking to certain pins and try to have all that predetermined, which is what I've done the last six years, so that there's no question to what club I'm going to hit off the tee in this situation. That decision's already been made.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, hitting off a cart path with a long shot with a wood or long iron, it's not a problem. You're coming in very shallow. You pick the ball clean. Everybody out here on Tour can do that without thinking twice.

Q. Did you hit driver today? What was it?
PHIL MICKELSON: Not everyone would hit driver off the cart path, and I did not, no. I wouldn't do that either.

Q. Could you describe that crazy shot you hit yesterday out of the bunker at 14. The caddies were talking about it. It was pretty unusual.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a semi backward shot. The ball hung up on the finger of the bunker, and it was on a straight downhill lie, and I had to aim, I guess, 90 degrees away from the pin and kind of hit it over my right shoulder a little bit. Kind of a hook shot.

Q. They said you hit a ten-yard hook. Is that kind of what you did? I mean, the shot went ten yards, right?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know how to say it. I mean, I kind of hit it that way (pointing). Swung that way and the ball went that way, yeah.

Q. About a 20-footer. Is that about right?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, that's about right. It was a good one.

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