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July 17, 2011

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, man, that was some of the most fun I've had competitively. It was really a fun start, and it was exciting. You know, it was one of those times where you're not thinking birdie and things were just happening. I'm not planning on making a 50-footer for eagle, but it just happens. I hit some of the best shots I've hit in the wind, not just today but really all week. I made some great putts today. And then later on when I ended up missing them, I still hit great putts that caught the lip or looked like they were going to go in.
It was a fun day. When I saw Darren wasn't going to make a mistake and he played some great golf, when he didn't make any mistakes there throughout the round, I had to start trying to make birdies, and that's when I ended up making a couple bogeys.

Q. You talk about players in the zone. Those first ten holes, how would you characterize it? What was it like?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I was having a lot of fun, some of the most fun I've had. I was just hitting the shot I was seeing every time, and the ball was rolling where I was wanting it to. It was really fun.

Q. Were you at any point saying, I can't believe this?
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, it was just -- it was exciting because I felt like I had played the back side better throughout the week and I really felt like there was going to be some easier pars for me on the back, and when I had to try and make some birdies is when I ended up making a few mistakes. I never would have hit the driver on 15. I had been hitting 3-wood there all day. I thought, gosh, I've got to try to carry that bunker, it's 305, I hit one of the best drives I've hit; just didn't make it. I needed to get a wedge in there to get at that pin, where I had been hitting 6-irons with my 3-wood of the tee.
Little things like that that forced me to try to make something happen, and it was because Darren didn't make any mistakes there for a long time.

Q. Do you know Darren very well?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I'm really happy for him. He was one of the first people that called us, Amy and I, a couple years ago. He's been through this and couldn't have been a better person to talk to. We talked for a few hours a couple of times. He's a tremendous person and a very good friend, and I couldn't be happier for him. It was fun to try to make a run at him.

Q. Is there a shot that stands out to you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, the putt at 11 was just a stupid mistake. There was nothing to it. It was just a dumb mental error. I just lost focus there, and it hurts to throw shots away like that when I'm behind.

Q. You had all that momentum going, too.
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that one hurt, but I thought the shot on 13, the 9-iron I hit there, I really had a good chance to get one close, and once it started riding the wind, it was going to go a long ways. It wasn't a bad spot to get up and down, I just didn't hit a great shot. But I still thought the putt went in and it was one of the better putts I hit, too.

Q. You've known Darren for years, Ryder Cups and whatnot. Is he the kind of player that guys are very happy to see win?
PHIL MICKELSON: Very, very. He's very well liked. He couldn't be a nicer guy. There's a lot of players that are extremely happy for him.

Q. What advice could he give you in that conversation?
PHIL MICKELSON: Just to know what to expect and what they went through and what worked and what didn't and some of the mistakes they made and so forth and the fears that he had. I mean, he's been through it all, and so I was very appreciative of the time we spent.

Q. When you say you haven't been yourself, was it attributable to all the personal stuff?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. I mean, I think as a professional golfer you've got to be able to separate what's going on in your personal life on the golf course. You know, if it was, it was my own fault. I shouldn't have let it affect it. But whatever the cause was, I feel like I'm kind of getting back to playing the way I have in the past and I way I know I can, and I've had a lot of fun doing that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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