home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 23, 2011

Phil Mickelson


Q. How do you feel about the state of your game?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I'll have a better idea the next two days. But you know, I feel good. I'm excited about this week. I'm excited about the next couple of weeks. But you know, it all comes down to shoot a number, so we'll see.
I've enjoyed the work. I've enjoyed the challenge of it. And I'm having fun playing right now, so you know, my expectations are high, but I've got to be patient to shoot some good, low scores.

Q. Some specific things you want to see this week?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's not -- because there's so much water, because there's wind, you know, you have to flight your ball differently than you will at Augusta. You can't stand on the tee and just bombs away, so it will be a little bit different. But I'll be working on trajectory control, distance control and this course with the wind will be a good challenge to try to get that area of my game sharp.
And then I'll spend three days, two or three days at Augusta next week to get ready off the tee, and on the greens and so forth.

Q. With the speed, a lot of times, and even back at Doral you were talking about what you wanted to work on at Augusta, because you want to put some numbers together, do you almost go away from that this week?
PHIL MICKELSON: A little bit. I need to -- or want to get into contention as best I can. I want to give myself an opportunity to shoot a low score because even though I feel like my game is there, I haven't put the numbers on the board that I need to; so I'll be working hard on just getting the ball in the hole and shooting a number this week. You know, working on specific elements, even though I'll be doing that in practice for Augusta.

Q. Given what you said about not looking at numbers, you and Tiger, seven green jackets; does this Masters feel more wide open than ever, especially with the kids popping up a little?
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, there's always been a large number of players that you expect to contend and I think that's the case this year. There are a lot of great players that are playing well that are going to have a chance to contend, and I think -- I don't think that that's any different than any other year.
But there are some advantages to knowing that golf course and to have had success on that course in the past I think is a benefit, too.

Q. Were you always planning on playing this week?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think I've probably left this as a question mark all year, just based on how I felt and so forth. But given that I haven't been in contention or played the way I wanted to on the West Coast, I wanted to add a tournament.

Q. When it comes to knowledge of Augusta National, who has helped you the most?
PHIL MICKELSON: You might pick up little tidbits or there playing with guys in the past, but ultimately it comes down to playing the course yourself, experiencing it and making mistakes on certain pins and making mistakes on certain holes, as well as having success on others.
It's just kind of evolved over the years knowing how I'm going to play each particular hole given the pin placements, because I may look at 3 as a birdie hole, two or three of the days and just try to make par on the fourth. Just depends on where the pins are on how I'm going to play certain holes.

Q. Is there another golf course anywhere where you get as much of a rise as driving into the place?
PHIL MICKELSON: No. No. There's no place like Augusta.

Q. Celebrations planned?
PHIL MICKELSON: We are just going to hang out and have a little party. Tomorrow after the round we'll go to the fun parks.

Q. Are you still learning stuff about Augusta?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, each green, every year they change and they put heaters and SubAir; they will make subtle changes so you always have to stay on top of it. But for the most part, it's just stuff that accrues over the years.

Q. When did you kind of feel like you had unlocked some of the secrets?
PHIL MICKELSON: Late 90s I started to play well there and had a lot of success on the course but I had not really broken through and won. I would make dumb mistakes here or there.
One of the things I do is on 15, I would try to always make a four there, and sometimes five is not a bad score, and I would make six or seven times and it really hurt.

Q. How much of --
PHIL MICKELSON: Which one? Yeah, well, you've got water short and then just over the green is not an easy chip, and short of the green laying up is not an easy chip. So creating angles and being able to attack that green and know sometimes you're going to have 60, 80 feet, you just have to know that putt.

Q. Inaudible.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's a tough shot because you're on a downhill lie with the grain of the grass into you, so contact is an issue. Just making solid contact is not a given. And then you've got to fly it the perfect yardage with the right amount of speed or else you're looking at bogey. Certainly to the left pins. Right pins you can probably go 30 feet long and make par.

Q. How much of your affection for Augusta is the people, beyond the layout of the place, just the way the people treat you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, that's part it. That's a big part of it, seeing the same faces in the galleries year after year, and the way they show appreciation for the players; the way the club itself treats the past champions. I mean, they just treat you so well.
We have got our own locker room and we have got our dinner on Tuesday. We have got our own parking space now in the front. It's just amazing the way they have treated us over the years.

Q. Do you share a locker --
PHIL MICKELSON: I've been fortunate in that I've had my own since I've gotten up there. It's been nice.

Q. Is there some meaning to that?
PHIL MICKELSON: You know that, or it's the one right behind the door; so every time somebody comes in, you know, it bangs up against it.

Q. Can you recall a year where you've gone there maybe not in form and you surface there and you find it?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, 2003 was one of the worst I was ever playing going into the tournament and I finished third. And then last year, I had not had a lot of success early on. But driving up, knew that it was going to be a good week.
But I'm looking forward to Bay Hill. It's going to be a fun week. We have got a good feel and the course is in as good of shape as it's been and we are going to have some nice weather.

Q. What would it mean to be in contention as you move forward, just to get back into that feel --
PHIL MICKELSON: I think it will get some of you guys off my back if I have a good, solid week, and that would be a plus, Mark. I'm just kidding.
Just giving me a little bit of confidence.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297