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September 23, 2010

Phil Mickelson


Q. Give us some opening remarks about your round today.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a challenging test today. There were some good scores and some high ones. I was able to shoot one kind of in the middle there with 1-under par, and I'll gladly take it. It's a better position than I started last year.
Could have been better, could have been worse, and it was an interesting day.

Q. You had some eagles in there and a bogey. How many bogeys, one, two bogeys?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know.

Q. I know on the front side you went magnificent eagle and then bogey. How frustrating was that?
PHIL MICKELSON: I eagled 12 and bogeyed 13.
I eagled 15 and bogeyed 16.
It's frustrating to follow eagles with bogeys. It was an up-and-down round. But I had some good fortune with those eagles, and I had some poor swings with those bogeys. This golf course will really penalize you for missing that shot. The firmness of the greens and the challenge of the Bermuda rough around the greens makes salvaging pars very difficult, and the firmness of the greens penalizes you if you miss fairways because it's very difficult to stop the ball on the greens. It's a very challenging test, but if you play extremely well you get rewarded with some good opportunities.

Q. How wilting is the eat?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's a challenge over the course of the day, but I think it's better warm than cold. I think the scores will be lower if it's warm where you can hit the ball -- the ball tends to fly a little bit farther and a little bit straighter when it's warm.

Q. On 15 how far were you on your approach shot and what did you hit? It looked like a slight draw of some kind.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I hooked a 3-wood. It was uphill into the wind 275 to the hole, so I hit a pretty good 3-wood to get it there.

Q. You mentioned before that you were changing the routine slightly because of the heat, the heat of the day. Is that a factor do you think?
PHIL MICKELSON: It can be if you're not careful. It can wear you out, so I'll practice in the evening when it's a little cooler instead of before the round.

Q. Are you using this as a tune-up to the Ryder Cup?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think everybody on the team is using this as a way of keeping their game sharp in addition to trying to win the biggest prize on our Tour.

Q. When you have a bogey after an eagle is it more of a momentum killer than to have a bogey after the par? Does it matter where they're positioned?
PHIL MICKELSON: Not really, no. It's not as upsetting making bogeys out here because you know everybody is going to do it. You miss one shot and you're most likely going to make a bogey or fighting for par. It's a very challenging test, but I think that's why people like East Lake is that if you hit good shots, if you hit it in the fairway, you're rewarded with a very good birdie opportunity. This course really rewards good play and really punishes poor play.

Q. Talk about the pin positions?
PHIL MICKELSON: There were some tough ones, but they were very fair, they were just challenging.

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