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April 3, 2014

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Phil, solid round of golf.  Talked to the other two guys in the group.  They said you had a lot of fun.  No bogies for the group.  It had to be fun.
PHIL MICKELSON:  It was the first time I remember that happening certainly in my career, Dennis.  It may have happened before, but the entire group played bogey-free and it was a fun day.  You know, we probably wanted -- wanted a few more birdies, but to not make any bogies as a group is pretty special and Keegan had a great round there.

Q.  The greens, you were expecting a little more skip in the greens and lot of balls were coming up short.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yes.  Where a couple of greens early on took big skips, some of them started checking up and so we weren't quite sure what to expect, but they're so immaculately conditioned that the course is one of the best conditioned golf courses I've ever seen.  Year in and year out, it's been like that.  If you hit greens, you should be able to make some putts.

Q.  Got to ask you about the back.  How does it feel?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, the back wasn't the issue, it was I pulled a muscle, and I feel a lot better, you know, four, five days later.  Within 30 minutes -- I travel with a light therapy machine, and I got it on right away, and I think that made a world of difference as far as expediting the healing process to where it doesn't feel hurt anymore, it feels just sore like I was working out as opposed to kind of a painful experience.

Q.  Go out there an have some fun.  Bogey-free for Phil Mickelson on this day.  Did it take much for you to trust that your side, that your oblique would hold up today?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I feel a lot better.  You know, Scott, I ended -- I travel with this light machine and it expedites the healing process, and I got it on right away when it pulled, and three days later instead of feeling hurt, it just felt sore.  And today I really didn't even think about it.
So I feel -- I'm surprised because I was worried when it happened about the Masters.  I was certainly worried about Houston, but it healed a lot quicker.  I felt great today.  Didn't feel any pain or discomfort and didn't even think about it.

Q.  After a couple of days at Augusta, you come here and overall did you feel like you were sharp?  Couple of putts missed, but otherwise looked like a pretty good day?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I went over to Augusta and the spent Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Tuesday I hit irons for the most part and yesterday played nine holes and it felt good.  And so I was able to spend more time with short irons, chipping, putting, as opposed to driving the ball.  But even that was pretty good today.  I hit the ball well off the tee and didn't miss very many fairways, and it was a good day.

Q.  Take us through your round and how you felt about it.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I felt really good.  Webb and Keegan are two of my favorite guys to be around.  They got great caddies.  We had a fun day and we played bogey-free, which was exciting for all of us to have a good round.  The course is in incredible shape, and I'm surprised but I feel terrific.  I mean, in a matter of five days or so, it healed up.  It just feels maybe a little sore, but it certainly isn't hurt like it was Saturday.

Q.  How important was it for you to make this trip, take us through you discussion-making process.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I just felt that for me to have a realistic chance or best a chance as possible at Masters, I got to play this week and get in a better frame of mind.  One of the things I really worked hard today was staying focused on each shot.  Got to back away a few times because my concentration wandered, but I felt like I was able to keep my concentration, focus, throughout the entire round, which is something I've struggled with this year.  I needed to play here this week and really challenge myself in that regard to give myself the best chance for next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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