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January 19, 2012

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Talk about the round.
PHIL MICKELSON:  It wasn't indicative of how I know I was playing.  I've been playing really well heading in.  I played well the front nine, made some good birdies.
And then the back nine those couple out of bounds, one was a matter of two feet on one and a couple inches on the other and those could have been a big difference.

Q.  A lot of folks may walk off the course not as optimistic.  You seem quite optimistic.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well it's only one round.  I know heading in that I've been feeling really good, it just wasn't quite on today on the back nine.  I made a couple quick swings, didn't really hit it the best.
But I've been playing so well heading in that I'm not going to let one round affect my outlook.  It's a long tournament, a long week, a long month, a long year, and one round is just getting started.

Q.  The fact that you have two more rounds to make the cut does that erase some of the pressure?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Sure.  The fact that we have two more rounds to make the cut or ‑‑ I use this week as a week to get my game, kind of assess it, get it sharp, and it's great that we have these fun golf courses and perfect weather that allow me to see where some weaknesses are.
And I made a few loose swings with the driver which I thought I had ironed out heading in, but I'm going to go head over to the range now and work on that, because I don't feel like it's far off, even though it looked like it was.

Q.  Do you feel that this event has been re‑energized a bit?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think it's a great message what Humana and the Clinton Foundation are talking about.  I think it's a wonderful message.
For me personally I've always liked coming here to start the year to assess my game, play golf in great weather and work on my game.
The reason I don't play Kapalua is it's too windy and I get in bad habits after having not played for six weeks.  And then when we moved over to the windy courses over by the highway, it again was not a great place for me to start the year.  Again, after having not played for six or eight weeks to get in bad habits.
But to come back in here by the mountains where it's calm it allows me to assess where I'm at and work on it and get ready for the start of the year.

Q.  What was it like to have the President come out here and watch you?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think it's cool to have him out here.  I think it does a lot for the stature of the event and also the message that he and Humana are getting out about health and wellness, I think that's a pretty cool message.

Q.  Any distractions in the middle of a round like that?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Oh, no, no, it's nice to have him out there.  It's an honor.

Q.  Did you guys speak before the tournament started?  Did he call you to ask you to come play?
PHIL MICKELSON:  We had a couple of phone calls and messages, but nothing that we were able to get ahold of, so I'm glad I saw him out there today.

Q.  Talk about the off season work.  You said that you felt good about your swing coming in.  What were you happy about, what were you working on?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I feel really good with the putter.  And that was the one area that I was concerned with.  I spent the whole off season working on that, deciding on the direction I was going to go, with what putter and what have you.  And I feel really good with the putter.
I'm trying to make, I feel like I can make everything on the greens.  I had a couple 3‑putt that I wasn't, my speed was off on a couple, but really excited with the way it was transpiring and given the way I've been hitting it the last couple years I know I'll get that fixed and I can start shooting some numbers.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's been a little while.  It's been a couple years.  So I feel like it's probably been two years.

Q.  What kind of putter?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's an Odyssey blade and it's very similar to the putter I grew up with as a kid just going back to that type of freer motion.  And the big difference for me is that for the last couple years I've been trying to work on mechanics and fundamentals to get the ball started on line, it's never allowed me the opportunity to get out into the putt, meaning trying to matchup the speed with the line I've chosen.  I was so worried about getting it started on line.
And I feel like I'm passed that.  I'm not worried about line, now all I'm worried about is getting the speed to match up with the line I've chose and so that's a whole different thought process.

Q.  What was the highlight of the season off the golf course?
PHIL MICKELSON:  We had a really good off season these last two months as a family.  We had some of our best family trips.  And that time in the last couple of months over the holidays is time that I treasure, because as much as we travel to be able to be home day in and day out and be part of the daily routine means a lot.

Q.  Anything extraordinary trip‑wise?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Our ski trip to Montana was something that was really cool.  Kids made great strides in their skiing ability and we had, we all had a lot of fun.

Q.  Talk about 10 a little bit.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, it was out by an inch or two and, you know, if it wasn't, I had a great lie and a perfect angle into that pin, but it was out by a couple inches.
There was a hump of grass and it was catching on the grass before we were able to see the line between the two posts.  So I just, we just elevated it and then let it come down and it was still out.

Q.  You talked about your driver, was there anything in particular, those several OB's, that are things you're going to go work on?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, both of those were right‑to‑left wind and I just let it get away from me.  So I got to do a better job of turning the ball over back in that slice wind.

Q.  Have you made any changes with your driver in the off season?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I've been working with our new Razr Fit driver and I feel like it's been really good, but I didn't put it in play today just because I didn't want to start the year with any changes, because I've been hitting it well, I thought.  And so I may, after that I may go back to the driver I've been using in the off season here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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