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March 27, 2011

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: I played well. I mean, I feel good about the way I played on the weekends, and the type of shots I was hitting. Driving it and feeling good with the putter, and my speed was a little bit off. I ran quite a few by this week, and had to fight hard not to 3-putt and I still had some 3-putts. But I'll have to get dialed in on my speed a little bit better but it was a good week.

Q. Is the feeling about the same at this time last year going into the Masters?
PHIL MICKELSON: I think I'm playing a little bit better this year, but I'm not getting the results. But as far as the way I'm striking it, heading into Augusta last year, I wasn't striking it well and I had a great session with Butch early in the week and it kind of turned things around; whereas I feel very confident with the way I'm striking the ball. I just have to shoot a number.

Q. So are you grinding in these practice rounds when you go to Augusta, or is it just taking it all? Are you working hard?
PHIL MICKELSON: They are more of -- a lot longer, harder days than a regular round.

Q. Waiting to get to this moment, right on the horizon?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I feel like the year kind of starts now, it's an exciting time with the best tournament of the year coming up and this week here at Arnold Palmer was a terrific way to set the tone heading into Augusta.

Q. You've never been a guy to use excuses but with all of the stuff that's gone on, how has it held you back where you are just now trying to get to where your game --
PHIL MICKELSON: Really shouldn't have an effect on the way I play on the golf course, because you know, physically I feel fine. I've been able to practice and work hard and it shouldn't affect that. I'm hitting a lot of the shots I want to hit but I'm just not scoring the way I want to score. It's coming.

Q. What did you do on 6?
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a drive just short of the second bunker. Hit a 5-iron to the right rough. Hit a wedge shot to the middle of the green that rolled into the water and then 2-putted from the fringe.

Q. The way the course was set up, did that surprise you at all?
PHIL MICKELSON: We knew that was going to happen. The back nine pins, they are all bogey and double-bogey pins. They are not birdie pins. The last eight holes are holes that you have to play 50 feet away if you're playing smart.
I just thought, gosh, if I could make a couple of birdies, I might get in position where you just never know what happens and I ended up made some bogeys trying to go at some of those pins. I enjoyed playing today and enjoyed the final round. You know, I had some good moments in there and it was fun.

Q. What are your thoughts on the young guys that are trying to get their first win or second like Martin Laird and the struggles; are you surprised?
PHIL MICKELSON: Struggles of the young guys?

Q. Spencer 5-over and Martin Laird comes out 39 on the front.
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know what to say. It's usually a bit of a learning curve and what it's setup today on Sunday is nothing like Thursday, Friday, where it's set up to get 155 guys around fairly quickly; 120 or so this week. And Sunday is set up to have guys come back and it's evident with the pins here. It just changes your thought process from aggression to defense and sometimes that takes a little getting used to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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