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March 31, 2011

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: The day was just beautiful. We didn't have any wind, so there were a lot of birdie holes. Even though I was 3-over after seven, there were still a lot of chances to get the round back and I was able to get to a couple under. The course is got to be the best manicured course I think we play on Tour outside of maybe Augusta, but this is -- superintendent here has done an amazing job.

Q. How are the greens rolling?
PHIL MICKELSON: They're just pristine. They're probably -- I can't read these very well. They roll immaculate. Can't have a better putting surface, but I struggle with the read. I just haven't -- I'm not accustomed to these grasses, so I use Bones on every putt. Again, if you get a ball tracking on the right line, you know it's in, you know, well before it gets to the hole.

Q. You've been at Augusta this week. Does that mess you up at all or just get you ready?
PHIL MICKELSON: How would it --

Q. You were talking about reading these greens not well, going from one course to another.
PHIL MICKELSON: Bermuda with rye and the grain. It's a grass I'm not accustomed to. I grew up on poa annua. I haven't spent that much time on bermuda, where Bones has. So I have to rely on his reads. They just roll so true. I mean they're just beautiful.

Q. You have your replacement caddy ready in case Bones falters?
PHIL MICKELSON: He's a good man. I saw him out there, Dr. Buckholz is an incredible guy. He's got a very good record with me caddying, four for four.

Q. Are you going to able the use the club you cracked?
PHIL MICKELSON: We'll see. I'll probably switch to a backup. It looks like it's okay. It flew fine there on the end after I thought there might be an issue, it flew okay.

Q. When did you do it?
PHIL MICKELSON: It had to be in the early holes.

Q. Were you fine with Anthony and the fans today, how they are for you here today?
PHIL MICKELSON: This tournament gets a lot of support locally from the community, and it's great to see. It's a golf course that can really accommodate a lot of people and support it so that everybody can view it. And on a day like that when we have great weather, it's nice to see some people out here.
I drove it well and it seems to go pretty good.

Q. What would be the hardest, your hardest hole at Augusta?
PHIL MICKELSON: 16 because it sets up opposite of a left-handed shot.

Q. You were 3-over for seven, something turned for you. All of a sudden you started putting up some numbers.
PHIL MICKELSON: It actually looked like the driver that was made from a stronger titanium. It actually does that, kind of creates a little spider-like crack. It doesn't affect the performance. I'll be fine to use it. I just got to -- got a text from our R & D head that it's going to be fine. It's a stronger titanium. Sometimes it has that look. The shots I hit after were great. The ball flew very well. There wasn't an issue, but it just scared me when I looked down and saw it.

Q. Swinging too hard at it. How valuable was it spending a few days at Augusta before coming here?
PHIL MICKELSON: Monday and Wednesday weren't the best weather days. I got a lot of work done on Tuesday. It was dry and they rolled the greens. That course, the thing about that for me is that yes, I'm going there to practice and prepare, but I get excited about the game of golf. I feel like a kid when I play Augusta. It gets me rejuvenated, energized, and just really look toward to practicing hard and working and playing golf. There's something very spiritual about Augusta for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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