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September 12, 2010

Phil Mickelson


Q. You saved the best for last today, but how much did that have to do with getting up to play when you play with Tiger?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, he certainly brings the best out in me, and I enjoy being paired with him. I was looking forward to today's round playing with him, and we had a good time.

Q. Did you two guys talk about the Ryder Cup or anything?
PHIL MICKELSON: A little bit, yeah. I think we're both looking forward to going over there. I know that we're underdogs. I know how strong the other team is, and they're loaded from top to bottom. But we've never won over there, and it would mean a lot for us if we were able to.

Q. Do you think there's any chance you two will be paired together?
PHIL MICKELSON: Um, come on.

Q. What did you see on 8?
PHIL MICKELSON: I couldn't believe I had a swing in there. I had to go through some trees and I needed a little bit of loft to get through the limbs, but I had a swing in there and just took a 64 and tried to get it out.

Q. How big of a gap?
PHIL MICKELSON: It wasn't a gap, I just needed to go through some leaves and limbs and was lucky to get it out. But my drop wasn't a very good scenario. I didn't feel I could get it up-and-down, so it was worth the risk.

Q. You've really turned it around here playing with Tiger the last three or four years. Is there an explanation there that escapes us?
PHIL MICKELSON: I enjoy it. He certainly brings the best out in me. That wasn't the case earlier on. But I feel like he gets the best out of me now.

Q. Talk about having a little bit of momentum.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's nice to play a good final round and it's good to have a little bit of momentum. I felt like I played well all week but I didn't score very well. I felt today I kind of put it together a little bit, but even today I left a lot of opportunities out there. I am looking forward to Atlanta, looking forward to Ryder Cup, and it'll be a fun last couple weeks of the year.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: We had a beautiful day weather-wise, and this was an amazing tournament. I thought it was great to see. It was a really fun day here in Chicago.

Q. What did it feel like to you playing inside that atmosphere?

Q. I think you're top 10 in the FedExCup points. I know you wanted to be in the top 5. How do you look at the Playoffs this year so far for you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I think the points system and all that stuff is fine, it's just I haven't played well. I just haven't played well, and that's disappointing, because I started off high enough to where if I just play halfway decent, I should be up there in the top 5 to where if I win the TOUR Championship I can win it all. But I love the golf course, East Lake. I think it's a wonderful, straightforward test of golf. I like that new grass they put on, the Mini Verde greens, and I putted them very well last year. I'm looking forward to getting back and seeing if I can finish the year right.

Q. Is it going to be a bit strange not having Tiger at the Tour Championship?
PHIL MICKELSON: Is that for sure? Are you sure he's not going to be there?

Q. Oh, no, he's 43.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, it will, absolutely it will.

Q. Did you notice anything in his game? I know you've got your own thing going on out there, but it's been a struggle for him, and this is the first time you've played with him --
PHIL MICKELSON: I think his game is like inches from being there. I mean, his speed is back. He's solid, very close. He's hitting shots. He didn't pull off a few today, but he hit a lot of good shots there coming in. He made a couple of bogeys and followed up with a number of birdies there toward the end. But you can tell that his game is like inches from turning because his speed is back and his putter looks great. I mean, his game is not far off at all. It looks very close to being right there.

Q. Do you remember your first Ryder Cup shot? There was Pavin and there was apparently some confusion as to whether you were playing or not playing in the afternoon and you had to kind of scramble to get ready maybe.
PHIL MICKELSON: That's 15 years ago. What I remember is I was paired with Pavin in my first match, and we played the first hole there at Oak Hill, and on the first hole he had about a 55-, 60-footer for birdie, and he knocked it in. It was the biggest boost of momentum. For me it was as if I had made the putt, I was so excited. He and I went on to win that match, and it was a very emotional and very nervous feeling to play that first match. But when he made that putt, it seemed to settle me down.

Q. How will Corey be different than Paul as a captain, in what way?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, certainly height will be one. He seems like a tough competitor, so I think he'll be a fine captain.

Q. Personality-wise, more quiet than the others?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, possibly. He's been on so many teams, though, over the years, I think he has a good grasp of what it takes.

Q. What does it take to be a good Ryder Cup player, mentally, physically?
PHIL MICKELSON: Just shoot low scores. It doesn't really matter.

Q. What's a good Ryder Cup player mentally?
PHIL MICKELSON: Guys that just make a lot of birdies that play aggressively. Those are usually the better ones.

Q. I know you've said that you liked the FedExCup system --
PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't say I liked it, I just said it was fine.

Q. Last year 1 and 2 obviously were 1 and 2 in the FedExCup, but this year No. 1 won't even be there. Do you think that might force the TOUR to take a look at maybe making a tweak?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know.

End of FastScripts

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