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June 7, 2014

Phil Mickelson


Q.  Phil, it took a long time to get the second round in.  You start looking back at the second round and actually the first round, what's been working out there for you so far?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, it's been a little bit -- today was kind of a boring round.  I didn't get a really lot happening.  I couldn't get my irons close enough, I couldn't make the putt that was close.
I really had a lot of easy pars it felt like but this next round I got to get off to a quick start, try to make a run.

Q.  Speaking of making birdies, when you made birdie at 14 and 15 I got the sense you were feeling a little bit of momentum.  Do you think with those two birdies you might be able to put a low one up there?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I did.  I thought I should be able to birdie the 16th, the par 5, with the pin in the front of the green, the easiest spot on the hole, and I just didn't get up and down after not so great a drive.
I had a chance to get up and down.  I think if I had birdied 16 I might have gotten one more with a little bit of momentum.  I'm not -- I'm certainly not that far back but I do need to get off to a quick start.  I got to get a good front-9 here this third round and get off to a fast start.

Q.  Are you seeing what you want to see in your game right now heading into next week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Close enough.  Close enough.  It's hard to tell exactly because there is a little bit of a difference in the golf courses and so forth but it's close enough.

Q.  Phil, congrats on what is your 500th PGA TOUR start this week.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I didn't realize that until I saw it on the board.  I've been out her a little while.  I'm starting to feel it, I guess.

Q.  Your thoughts on the second round of 68.  Looks like you kind of almost got it going with the two birdies on the backside there.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I really had a hard time early on getting something to happen.  I ended up just making a lot of easy pars.  Didn't quite hit it close enough to give myself really good birdie chances but didn't quite make the ones from 20, 30 feet.
I ended up birdieing 14, 15, got a little bit of momentum.  Fortunately I didn't make too many mistakes throughout the round and was able to shoot a couple under.  I do have to get off to a quick start this third round to make a run.

Q.  Unless me eyes deceive me, there's a new putter in the bag this week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, it's been in and out.  It's the one I used to win the British Open last year.  I did have a blade in the last month or two and sometimes I just got to change it up to get a little bit different feel.
I didn't -- I had been getting a little bit too line conscious with the putter.  I went back to the one that doesn't have a line.  This is a putter I really like the most.

Q.  You said you wanted four good rounds.  You're halfway there.  It's taken you awhile to get there?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It was a good, solid round.  It wasn't what I was hoping for.  The course conditions were pretty easy today, gave us a lot of birdie opportunities, but I wasn't able to hit my iron shots close enough to really take advantage of the holes and when I would I'd leave it 15, 30 feet.  I didn't really make those putts.
Fortunately, I didn't make any mistakes.  I birdied 14, 15, coming in.  This next round I got to get off to a quick start, make something happen on the front 9 to try to make a move.

Q.  Does it help you'll be able to go out really quickly once we get a restart?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It does help to get back out there.  I love when you get in a good momentum, good rhythm for the day to be able to play 36 holes.  I think that could be a real advantage if you start to feel good with your game.
It started to come in a little bit the back-9.  I started to feel a little bit better and hit my irons closer.

Q.  How do you feel about your putting overall?  You gave yourself a lot of 20 footers.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah.  It was okay.  I mean I'm hitting -- I'm hitting them solid but I'm -- either my read is just a fraction off or my speed is a fraction off.
The back-9 I ended up making some good ones.  Bones has a really good beat on the reads.  I thought the biggest putt I made was on 17 for par.  It was a tough curling, breaking putt that had I missed that one after not birdieing 16 it would have really been a demoralizing bogey but I ended up salvaging the par with a good putt.

Q.  Talk about the approach on -- after driving the cart path on 17.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I was hoping the ball would jump and be kind of a flyer but the ball kind of came out dead and it came up short of the green.  I needed the ball to jump.

Q.  How crucial was the save, though?
PHIL MICKELSON:  It was a big save.  After not birdieing 16 that takes away from momentum and to be able to salvage that par at 17 -- 17 is a hard par 4 and tried to hit the fairway.  I ended up having a tough par.

Q.  Do the conditions make it harder for you to get the work done you wanted to get done?
PHIL MICKELSON:  No.  The conditions were ideal for scoring.  The soft conditions allowed us to fly the ball to the hole.  It made hitting the fairways much easier.

Q.  In terms preparation for next week --
PHIL MICKELSON:  No, because I think it's going to rain next week, too.  I think we'll have similar conditions.

Q.  Did you see a variation in the speed of greens?  It's been awhile since they got cut.
PHIL MICKELSON:  I didn't.  There's a huge speed differential between down grain and into the grain but it was the same as it's been throughout the week.

Q.  More rain coming tomorrow, you got U.S. Open, want to get to Pinehurst.  Do you sort of have to start weighing what you do when you get there?
PHIL MICKELSON:  No.  I think the best way to get ready for next week's U.S. Open is to get in contention, have an opportunity and that goes into Monday, so be it.
That's one of the reasons why I like to go to Pinehurst early so I don't have to spend that extra time early in the week of the U.S. Open knowing the golf course and coming up with a game plan.
Once that's done, then all I have to do is get my game sharp.  Having the tournament go to Monday, even Tuesday is not detrimental in anyway I don't think.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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