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July 14, 2012

Phil Mickelson


Q.  64 yesterday, and you followed it up with another hot one, 65 today.  How confident are you about your chances on the final day tomorrow as a consequence?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, I don't know how many shots I'll be behind heading into the final round.  But I just like the fact that I played well these last two days.  I look forward to a fun final round tomorrow.
Certainly I'll be trying to make a run at the lead but more than that, I feel like my game is starting to improve each day.  I'm very happy that I made the decision to play here at the Scottish, and hopefully I'll have a good round tomorrow that will give me some momentum heading into next week as well.

Q.  Very much on your wish list, according to your comments yesterday, was a bit of a wind and a bit of a challenge obviously out there, because the course is soft and very receptive.  What sort of difference will it make were you to get a good gust of wind out there tomorrow?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I think that the teeth of the course will come out when the wind gets up there and when the rain comes in.  And we'll see more bogeys and we'll see the golf course play the way it's capable of playing.
You can still make some birdies on a lot of holes that are susceptible and you can still shoot a low score and make a run at the lead, but it will be‑‑ we won't have the same situation like we had today where it was playing very easy and guys that are shooting 6‑, 7‑ , 8‑ , 9‑under par.

Q.  As a point of interest, I wonder which you prefer, that sort of sadistic challenge to par at the U.S. Open, or this very generous and not‑protective‑of‑par‑type setup?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, there's got to be a balance and this golf course is the perfect balance when the weather comes in.  It's a very fair test and very challenging test when the weather comes in, but yeah, you can still shoot a few under par.  I don't think anybody enjoys a U.S. Open test.  There's nothing fun about it.  It's just hard.  I guess once a year, that's fine.  But I enjoy golf courses like this that are designed to accommodate bad weather. 
The first two days, we have had perfect weather and it makes it look like it's an easy course but it's not.  It's a very fair, stern test and I think tomorrow, if the wind comes in, you'll see how difficult it can be.

Q.  Is your mind already racing forward towards Lytham, particularly after that stellar second place at Royal St. George's last year?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, heading into next week's Open Championship, it was more important that I started to play a little bit better, to score a little bit better, and to get in a better frame of mind.
So these last two days have been very helpful in that I'm not looking forward yet to the Open.  I'm not looking forward to Lytham yet until after this tournament is finished, because the best way for me to prepare for next week is getting in a good competitive frame of mind, staying focussed throughout the round, controlling my ball flight and hitting good, solid shots.

Q.  7‑under par 65 today, following that up from a 64 yesterday.  Seems like your game is moving in the right direction?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I'm very pleased and excited with the way the last two rounds have gone, because I've hit a lot of good shots and started to make some putts and short game feels very good.
I'm excited about the scores, because I have not been playing at that level, even though I knew it wasn't that far off.  But the scores were certainly not reflective of where I was at.  To shoot some good, low rounds and get in contention and have a chance heading into the final round at the Scottish is exciting and probably the best thing I can do to get me ready for next week.

Q.  How much will weather conditions affect the final round?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, hopefully we'll have a very difficult test, because this is a wonderful golf course and very playable even in bad weather.  You can still shoot under par rounds in the bad weather, but it's hard to go 8‑ or 9‑under par.
I think for us to catch the leaders, the guys that are trailing and trying to make a move tomorrow, I think we need a little bit of weather to move up the board.

Q.  Next week, perfect timing to get your game together?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It is, because the last couple of months, I have not played the way I would like, but I knew that it wasn't that far off and that it wasn't far away from turning.  And to play these last two rounds was good, and hopefully I'll play a good, solid final round tomorrow and carry that momentum into next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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