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September 9, 2012

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Can you talk about your day?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I was a little bit off today.  My timing was just a fraction off.  I wasn't quite getting the ball on line with my irons, and my putter was just a little bit off, whether the speed or the read.  I'm really pleased with the way my game has come around the last two weeks.  I had a fourth last week, tied for second this week.  It puts me in a position where if I can improve just a little bit more for the TOUR Championship and win, I'll be able to win the FedExCup.
I accomplished one of my goals, which was to get in the top 5.  The other would have been obviously to win.  But more than that, I just feel really good about where my game is headed, and hopefully I'll keep improving on that for next week.

Q.  Talk about the shot on 7.  It might have cost you a chance to win this thing.
PHIL MICKELSON:¬† Yeah, the shot on 7 was just horrific.¬† It was an easy pitching wedge back there, and it was‑‑ I was just a little bit off.¬† I was kind of holding onto some shots rather than releasing it, and consequently I blocked a number of iron shots.¬† I was able to free it up a little bit with driver and drove it well, but when I got to the greens and had good opportunities, I was just a touch off.¬† The reads weren't quite right or my speed wasn't quite right, or I hit a bad putt like I did at 17.¬† It was just a fraction off, but I'm really pleased with where my game is overall.¬† It's gotten better.¬† For the last five weeks it's gotten better each week.
I'll have this week off here heading into the TOUR Championship, and I put myself in a position where a win at East Lake, where I've won a couple times, lets me control my own destiny, so that's exciting.¬† But more than that, where my game is ‑ on the upswing ‑ is even better.¬† Even though I didn't get the win, and I would have loved to have, I can see the progress, and hopefully I'll improve.

Q.  I can hear the excitement in your voice.  You're happy about things, aren't you?
PHIL MICKELSON:¬† Yeah, I really know where I'm headed with my swing, with my ball‑striking off the tee, iron play, distance control, wedge, putting, all that stuff feels really good, and I look at a day like this as just a blip as opposed to a trend.¬† The trend is going up.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON:  It could have been.  A lot of people stayed neutral and Rory geared ahead.

Q.  What were your impressions today?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, I was back kind of struggling with my own game a little bit.  Everything was just a fraction off.  My irons weren't quite at the pin.  They were off a little bit.  My putter was two, three inches off my line, just a fraction, just enough to miss, and I wasn't just getting in the hole like it was yesterday, so I was fighting it a little bit.
But I hung tough for a while, but I just wasn't able to get the putts to fall or hit the iron shots that I needed to make a run.

Q.  What do you think the difference was when yesterday you were clicking on all cylinders?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Sometimes it's just a fraction off, the rhythm, the timing, the club didn't go through impact as smoothly as it did yesterday.  But it was still a good day in the sense that I accomplished one of my goals.  Obviously the other one was to win, but one of them was to get in the top 5 heading into East Lake because my game is heading on the upswing.  I had a good week last week at Deutsche Bank, I played well again this weekend.  The parts of my game are getting better, each one, so hopefully at East Lake I'll improve that last spot or two and see if I can get the win.

Q.  The approach into 12 that airmailed the green, I think you had 137 or so.  What happened there?
PHIL MICKELSON:¬† Well, I had 32 up top and 37 to the hole, and that is a big gap wedge for me, and I tried to hit a gap wedge about 10, 12 feet to the right of the pin, and I hit it 10, 12 feet to the left of the pin, so it hit that hill and went down.¬† And if it was on my line, I would have had a four‑, five‑foot putt for birdie.¬† But that was kind of what my irons were doing a little bit today.¬† They were just fractionally about 15, 20 feet left of where I was trying to swing, and it was just a hint off.¬† I just couldn't quite get it dialed in.¬† But it wasn't bad enough to be that obvious, it just wasn't quite right.

Q.  Would you talk about Rory?  I guess you're probably not surprised he's on this run that he's on?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Oh, no, he's a great player.  He's playing great, and he's going to be tough at East Lake.  But we'll see.  We've got, what, 11 days or so to prepare.

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