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March 8, 2012

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Recap of the day, good shots and bad, just talk about the round?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I shot even par.  Could have been better.  Could have been worse.  It was a challenging day, and starting out, I didn't play very well.  I was a couple over the first six holes, didn't hit a green in regulation, so I fought hard just to keep it around par, and I'll have to come out tomorrow and get it going.  But I feel like I fought hard to keep myself in a position where if I get it going tomorrow, I can get right back in it.

Q.  It looked like it got a way a little bit, you hit the tee shot on 15 but then you picked it up and hit a couple good drives.  Did you feel something different?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, I hit a good shot on 15.  It just went over the green.  That was actually the first good swing that I really made.  I started to hit the ball pretty good there after.  Gave myself some birdie chances, got it back to even and made another bad swing on four and made double but followed it with a couple birdies.  I was able to fight to keep it around par but I was never in a position to get it going low.  Tomorrow I'll have to come out‑‑ I'll get a better practice session.  This range really hurt me, hitting into such a strong, slice wind, I went out on the course and I was hooking everything.
I'll go out and practice into a hook wind, which is what I feel more comfortable doing and will hopefully strike it better tomorrow.

Q.  When did you switch back to the 88 '02 model?  Was it before this year?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It was in the off‑season.  I have used it before, back and forth, but it was the off‑season that I really got into it.  I'll switch to that mallet odyssey No.9, as well.  But I have not used that in a while.  I will use that occasionally, if I start pulling it with the blade.  But right now, I feel very good with the putter.

Q.  Copy of an old one that you had, Butch said for decades maybe?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, I won the PGA in 2005 with this putter essentially.  Roger Cleveland made a copy for me way back then and has made probably 10 or 12 for me that I have at my house.  This one has the insert.  The one that I used in 2005 to win the PGA did not.  It was just a medal blade.

Q.  This is the one he redid, it's a copy of that?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's a copy of the blade that I won the PGA with, and it has the White Hot XG insert.  I like the sound of that.

Q.  Is it less loft in the putter face?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I took a little bit of loft off in the off‑season, which now does nota will you me to put my hands as far forward.  I found that I had a little bit too much loft and I was putting my hands so far forward trying to hit the sweet spot, because I was hitting them thin and not giving it a great roll.  And by going to a little bit less loft, my hands can go back and I'm hitting the sweet spot again.

Q.  So adding it all up, you're rolling as good as you have for the last couple years?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It feels great.  The putter feels terrific.

Q.  After playing so well on the West Coast in winds like this, the rain‑‑
PHIL MICKELSON:  This has been typical for me when taking a few weeks off, the first six holes back, I seem to kind of fight it.  And I knew that, so I played very conservative.  I played conservative off 10 and 12 and some of the first few holes trying to get‑‑ build into the round.  When I started to feel comfortable with the swing a little bit I was able to attack and try to make a few birdies.  But I was not sharp early on.  I hit a lot of hooks.  On the practice range, I had to hook it to try to get into that slice wind, it was so strong.  And I'll just go hit into a look wind tomorrow.  I should have known better.

Q.  How much was the wind dictating club selection, especially on the par 5s?

Q.  It sounded like, if I overheard you correctly, you were hitting 3‑wood off the second and then you went to the right‑‑ how much does the wind affect all of that?
PHIL MICKELSON:  12 is a very awkward hole for me with that slice wind, because if I hit a good drive, it just goes right into that left bunker.  So I tried to hit a 3‑wood there at the left bunker which would be just short.  Felt like I would be able to then hit it up by right in front of the green and chip up and try to make 4.  Ended up over‑hooking it into the bunker, and it scooted out into a bad lie in the rough.  Hacked it out with an 8‑iron and hit 7‑iron to the front bunker, didn't get up‑and‑down.
But like I said, I was trying to play a little bit more conservative the first few holes until I felt myself kind of work it into the round.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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