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March 30, 2012

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Long day out there, wasn't it?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It was.  We had great playing conditions in the second round with lift, clean and place.  I didn't really take advantage of the opportunity there to get the mud off.  We got two more rounds on the weekend.  Looking forward to it.

Q.  You've all got to be really pleased with your golf game?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I'm excited about the weekend and excited about next week.

Q.  Go home and get some rest.  We'll see you tomorrow.
AThanks, Mark.

Q.  Did you ever play that many holes to catch up to you?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I really enjoy it because you can get in a good rhythm if you start striking the ball well, you can get a hot hand and make some birdies.  I think there's an advantage there to be able to keep playing if you're playing well.
We had some great conditions today.  The wind was very soft.  The greens are beautiful here, and when we were able to lift, clean and place the second round and get the mud off the ball, we're able to be to be much more aggressive to the pins.
I played pretty well the second round, but I didn't get the score that I had hoped.  I got to light it up on the weekend.

Q.  Your position isn't to bad?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It's a lot better position than I was in last week heading into the weekend.  I feel really good on this golf course, and my game feels good.  Hopefully I can shoot a little bit lower round than I did this afternoon.

Q.  What did the heat do to the course in the second round, the humidity?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I don't know if the heat and humidity did much.  The course conditions being soft, it allowed us to be more aggressive, and being able to get rid of the mud off the ball in the fairway allowed us to have much more control and get after some of the pins.

Q.  You've won here, especially coming into this, does this add any more confidence back to the mental part of game, that you've done well here?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think it's good to play well and build some momentum, especially heading into next week, but having a good finish, having a win, if possible, that all builds confidence heading into big events.
This is a big event in and of itself and last year was my only win.  So I look back on last year and this is the highlight right here being in Houston.

Q.  You showed a willingness to change clubs.  Have you shown you're willing to be more open-minded, even switch week to week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I'm always looking for some type of advantage if I can find it.  I think that certain clubs perform or needed more on certain courses, and sometimes I may have a 5-wood, sometimes I may switch it out for a 3-iron.  Certainly the British Open, I'm going the want to keep the ball down and go to a 3-iron.  Here the ground is soft, and I put in a 5-wood.  Those type of subtle changes can allow a player to maybe salvage a stroke here or there throughout the week.

Q.  Did you get something to eat?
PHIL MICKELSON:  We had an hour's break.  There was plenty of time to get something to eat.

Q.  What's the highlight of your round?
PHIL MICKELSON:  This morning I played really well and had some good opportunities that I took advantage of.  I made some good putts.  I don't know if there's any one particular one, but the second round, I played well, too, but I didn't quite get the score.  I wasn't quite as hot with the putter.  Had a lot come close but not quite go in.  So, there's a lot of good things to move on for the weekend.

Q.  Any unforeseen weather you see the course setting up for big numbers to be scored this weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think because of the softness allows us to be more aggressive.  The course has a lot of hidden trouble.  There's lakes that cut in the landing areas, cut in up by the green.  Very uncomfortable feel, especially when it's firm and fast, because balls will bounce in the water and you don't know where you have to play it.
With it being soft, you can be more aggressive and you can fly the ball to the hole.  A lot of the holes are cut around the water and try to make some birdies on holes that maybe in the past you might play a little more conservative.  I expect nine.  I expect the scores to be a little lower.

Q.  Here with Phil Michelson.  After first round, you told me you were excited to get over there even though it was a long day of golf.  You felt you could keep the momentum going.  How much of a struggle was it even though you shot 2-under?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I played really well.  I didn't quite take advantage of the opportunities that I did in the morning round where I hit a lot of good shots close, 10, 12, 15 footers I made in the first round, I caught lips in the second.  There was a lot of good things to build on heading into the weekend.  I feel really good about where my game is at.  I'll be able to shoot a little bit lower score than I did this afternoon.

Q.  You hit more greens in the second round.  Is the putter not as warm as you hoped?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I hit putts that weren't the right read or too firm or too easy on the speed, but they all had good chances.  They just didn't quite go in.

Q.  25-under par your last four rounds here.  What is it about this place?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, the greens are beautiful, so you get hot with the putter, you can make a lot of birdies.  Today with the golf course being soft, there was a lot of birdies there because you could get off of the pins that were tough and have confidence that the ball will stop as opposed to bouncing off into trouble.

Q.  How do you like your chances over the weekend?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I played well here on this golf course.  I'm in much better shape now than I was last year at this time heading into the weekend.  It's going to take a couple good rounds.  My game feels sharp.  I'm looking forward to get back out there.

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