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April 8, 2012

Phil Mickelson


PHIL MICKELSON:¬† 6, where the pin was was the hardest par on the golf course because on that hole certainly you can't be in the bunker.¬† And not only that, you can't be on the green right at the pin and be able to make par, so tactically what I try to do there is aim left of the pin and I try to hit either the left edge or in the bunker or just left of the bunker where I'm chipping up the green, chipping into the slope.¬† And usually I can get that up‑and‑down and make par.¬† If not, I make a 4.
If it goes into people and stops right there, no problem.¬† If it goes into the grand stand, no problem.¬† It hit the metal railing and shot in the trees.¬† And not only was it unplayable, but I couldn't take an unplayable.¬† There was no place to go other than back to the tee.¬† So I took the risk of trying to hit it a few times.¬† I felt like the hole ‑‑ I put the ball where I had to every single shot and I walked away with even par, which is disappointing.
Even after that triple, I birdied the three par 5s, had many chances to make birdies and wasn't able to get the ball to go in.  They were just coming right up to the edge and just not quite peaking in.
I had a fun day.  I had a fun opportunity on the back nine all the way up through 17 holes where if I could have birdied the last two and gotten in the playoff.
It's disappointing that I didn't grab that fourth green jacket.  It's disappointing that I didn't make it happen on the back nine and get the putts to fall, even though I felt like I was hitting them pretty good.  I gave them all good chances, I just couldn't quite get them to go.

Q.  A day ago you said opportunity was what you carried into this day.  Candidly, what do you walk away with?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, it was a great opportunity to collect another green jacket.  It was a fun day playing in the last group, a beautiful day here at Augusta.  I hit a ton of good shots the back nine trying to make something happen and I just couldn't get the ball in the hole to catch Louis and Bubba who played some really good golf, really solid golf in front of us, but didn't run away to where they were uncatchable, even after making a high score on 4.  So it made for an exciting back nine.  A lot of people made runs.  Peter and I, we tried to make a run.  We hit a lot of good shots, just couldn't quite capitalize on the green.

Q.  Talking to Peter and Kuch, they were both talking about being part of that drama on the back nine on Sunday, which you have been in so many times, Phil, but they have not.  For you, is it not enough to get there in that back nine Sunday or are you satisfied that you put yourself there?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I'm certainly not satisfied just being in contention.  I think that I love having the opportunity to win, to compete on Sunday, to come down the back nine with a chance to win the Masters.  That's what's fun.  I had a great time today.  It's certainly disappointing not getting it done, not being able to convert the opportunities on the back nine, not being able to electrify the crowds and make birdies and eagles when I need to and move up the leaderboard.  It doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy myself, that I didn't enjoy the opportunity.  I'm certainly going to be disappointed that I wasn't able to get it done here because I had a great opportunity in that I played really well today.  I hit a lot of good shots, a lot of good putts, but did not get the score I wanted.

Q.  What will you take from this day?
PHIL MICKELSON:  What will I take from this day?  Third place.  It's not what I was hoping for, but it's not what I was hoping for.

Q.  What was the (inaudible) on 4?  What happened?
PHIL MICKELSON:¬† Nothing.¬† Nothing happened.¬† I mean, tactically I hit that shot where I had to hit it, which is at the bunker.¬† Anything left of the pin is fine.¬† I had to hit a 4 iron.¬† It was into the wind.¬† I had to make sure I got past the pin.¬† I was just hopeful that it almost caught the bunker ‑‑ it was just left to have bunker but it should have been just in the grand stands with the people, easy chip up the hill.¬† I sit here and I practice that chip over and over because you can't go at that pin.¬† It's just ‑‑ you go in the bunker or you go right of the pin on the green, you are not going to make par.¬† And the worst I would have made was 4, but unfortunately it hit the metal railing.

Q.  (Inaudible)?
PHIL MICKELSON:¬† It happens.¬† You know, it happens out here.¬† I'm sure everybody else had something, maybe not similarly but ‑‑ I look at the triple on 10, that was obviously a bad swing.¬† That was a terrible swing.¬† It went way off in the junk.¬† But I wouldn't have done anything different on 4.¬† That's strategically where you have to play it to that pin on that hole. ¬†It's the hardest par on that hole.

Q.  Why not go back to the tee?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, then I got the hardest shot again.  And again, the hardest par.  So I'm looking at 5 at best, probably 6.  I felt like it was worth the risk and it may have cost me, what, half a shot at most?

Q.  How about the albatross?  Even though it wasn't you, it had to have been pretty cool?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I didn't see it.  I just saw the numbers change.  I don't know what to say.  I mean, I didn't see it.

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