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May 5, 2012

Phil Mickelson


Q.  How hard were you grinding just to be here today?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, I didn't really think much about the cut because I was 3‑under for a while.  I thought I had a chance to go low if I made a few more birdies.  It was playing tough, though, and I had to par the last two just to get here on the weekend.
But we had some pretty good conditions today to score low.  The greens were receptive on some very edgy pins, and it's possible this afternoon it could be right on the edge.  Had we just made a few more, we might have gotten right back in it.

Q.  Well, Rory two years ago made the cut on the number and won the golf tournament shooting nothing Sunday.  Did you think about that?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, but I thought more of how difficult it was going to play this afternoon on some of the pins that if we could shoot just a solid round of 6‑, 7‑under par and get right back in striking distance for Sunday‑‑ who knows, though.  You never know what this afternoon will bring, if the wind picks up.  You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON:  I did, yeah.  I think tee to green this is one of the best golf courses we play.  It's just a really good challenge working the ball both ways, off the tee, into the green, and I think visually, it's just a beautifully aesthetic pleasing golf course tee to green.

Q.  How strange was it to be out there that early on a Saturday morning?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It was kind of nice because this golf course in the afternoon is going to be right on the edge, and we got very‑‑ well, there's some rain, but we got very lucky to have kind of soft conditions and opportunities to go low.  Had I made two, three more birdies you just never know because I think it's going to be tough for the leaders to get away unless, again, the rain coming in or it stays calm.  But if the wind picks up or the greens get firm like it did the last two days, it's going to be a tough course.

Q.  Give us a little bit of an idea of what things we're going to watch this afternoon as these players make their way around this golf course?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, where the holes are cut, you're looking at about a three‑degree pitch on most of the holes, which three degrees with a 13 on the stimpmeter is extremely pitched.  Good chip shots that normally would be three, four, five feet, they're going to be eight to 12 feet.  A lot of them won't stop until they get to the edge of the green, so you're going to see a lot of good shots that won't stay around the hole because of the degree of pitch where the hole location is.  You'll see a lot of putts that look like they have a chance to just die in, they're going to roll three, four, five feet by.
I'm starting to feel some rain drops.  If rain comes, all bets are off.  It's going to be a birdie fest if the greens are soft.  It's all going to come down to the softness and firmness of the greens.

Q.  Can you talk about your turnaround, the four birdies, what got you going, what hadn't been going as‑‑
PHIL MICKELSON:  I made a putt on 13.  I made about a 25‑footer, and that was‑‑ the first putt of that distance that went in for me, and I hit a lot of good ones that had chances and that one just tracked in.  Then I would follow that hole up with two birdie holes that I was able to do what you're supposed to do and made a good one on 16.  So even though it was a nice round of four birdies, it didn't seem like it was that big a deal because two of them you're supposed to birdie, and I just made a couple of good putts.

Q.  How do you feel about today and how that sets you up for tomorrow then?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, it's possible this afternoon it's going to be very difficult, and had Lee and I made two, three, four more, we would have been right in the thick of it for tomorrow.  But instead, I think we're going to be a little ways back, and now I'm starting to feel rain come.  So that's going to change the afternoon.  The afternoon will be a lot easier than I was anticipating.

Q.  Talk about 18 coming in, four birdies in a row and you had that second shot over the green.  Talk about that.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, on 18 I hit a good tee shot and the wind was into us and left to right, and as I'm standing there the wind is blowing into and left to right but the wind at my ball was blowing down right to left and I was in between clubs, and I just wasn't sure what it was going to do.  I played for right to left, it went left to right, shot it over the green right.

Q.  Talk about Ryder Cup with Davis as captain.  What does he bring as captain to this Ryder Cup?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Experience.  He brings a lot of experience.  He's been with so many captains that he knows what he likes and what he doesn't like, and I think he's going to apply that to his own captaincy.

Q.  What's the key thing you look for from a captain?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Leadership.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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