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May 5, 2013

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Phil, knowing how much you would like to win this tournament with how special it is to you, how disappointing is it at the end of the day?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, I'm pretty bummed out.  I thought that this was one I had in control.  If I could have gotten that bunker shot up‑and‑down on 15, I would have had a two‑shot lead heading into those last three holes, which I know are very difficult holes, so it would have been nice to have that.  Unfortunately, I hit a poor bunker shot and left the putt short. Then I bogeyed 16 and 17. 
There is just no excuse.  It wasn't easy, but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary or difficult.  I should have made par.

Q.  What can you take out of this that is positive heading down to Ponte Vedra next week?  You put on a phenomenal short game and putting display for most of the week.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, I feel like I hit a lot of good iron shots too, and today I hit a lot more fairways, and my game feels like it's coming around.  Next week, you know, there are very few drivers, so I'll be hitting 3‑woods and hybrids off most every tee.  I'll probably carry a driver, but I just don't know what hole you can hit it there.  So if I can hit the ball well off the tee shot like I did in '07 when I won, I feel like the other parts of my game are there.

Q.  Yesterday you characterized your finish as mistake‑ridden.  How would you describe today's?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Disappointing.  I think that those holes coming down the stretch are not easy holes, but there is no reason why I couldn't have made par.  I had a pretty easy chip on 16 that, unfortunately, it went past the hole.  I was trying to leave it short of the hole, and it hit on the down slope and went past it.
You have such a bigger percentage to make putts if they're uphill here because you can hit them aggressively.  When you're trying to hit them downhill, it's much more susceptible to imperfections.  I had a downhill putt, didn't hit it great and ended up missing it.  Then 17 I three‑putted it.

Q.  When you did make the bogey at 16, how deflating was that on the tee at 17?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, the 17th and 18th holes aren't really holes I would call birdie holes.  So I was fighting to hold on to that one‑shot lead, thinking that it was going to be tough to par in to try to win and sure enough 16 and 17 got me.

Q.  Did you think that putting was the best way to do it there, or do you think in retrospect you could have chipped it on the last hole for that third shot?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Oh, no, I didn't even think about chipping that.  I want the ball rolling, and because I left the putt so far short on 17 twice, I hit that one a little extra hard.  And I actually had it on the line I wanted, but I hit it right through the break after leaving the other one short.  So I did not adjust well to my speed.  The putt on 15 I left short, uphill.  I hit it extra firm because I thought it would be slow, and it was still short.  So I did not adjust well on the speed coming down the stretch.

Q.  You attacked the pin there at 13 and had a pretty good tee shot there at 14, were you playing to win rather than playing not to lose or is that fair to characterize?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I thought my target was to get to 10‑under.  I felt like if I could get to 10‑under, I would most likely win the tournament, and 15 was a critical hole where I had the good chance with the easy bunker shot exactly where I tried to hit my second shot on that bunker.  And I hit a poor bunker shot to 12, 15 feet short.  I should have never been that far short.  The putt was right in the middle of the hole, left it short.  And that hole cost me, because going into 16, 17, and 18 you really want to have a couple‑shot advantage.  It's very hard to par those last three.  You can still do it.  It's just 16 I missed a short one and 17 three‑putted.

Q.  The rain started coming down there at 15.  Did that have any effect on your game?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It changed some of the speed of the greens, and I didn't adjust very well to it.  Everybody knows that that's what's going to happen, and I just didn't adjust to it.

Q.  You've been so close so many times.  How disappointing is it to have been there?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, I'm pretty bummed out.  I would have liked to have won this one.  I felt like I was in control, and I let it slip away there the last few hole, so it was disappointing.

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