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June 12, 2014

Phil Mickelson


Q. Is it as gettable as it's going to be all week?
PHIL MICKELSON: Absolutely. We had an early tee time and the greens were soft. And there was some low scoring out there, some good scoring, I should say, not low. I'm never upset, anything off of par, it's usually a good score. It's a good start. I didn't hurt myself any. I had a chance to get 3, 4, 5-under today had I made some makeable opportunities. But I didn't throw anything away on some of the short ones. Right now it's my driving. I didn't miss a fairway with my driver, it's an unusual thing for me. The driver feels really good. I think that's the club that is going to help me play well this week. And the one club that's hurting me is the putter. So I've got to get that turned around the next couple of days.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a lot because I was driving it well with it. And I don't know the exact number, but I would say nine or ten.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: No, no, that's not a long-term thing. I like putting conventional. It might be weeks, it might be months, it might be days, hours, I don't know. It's just one of those things. Last year I putted just so well for a year and a half, and I've kind of over-done what I was doing and I've got to kind of settle back in. The club helps with my alignment, it keeps my lines straight and it takes some of pressure and hit out of it with the bottom hand. So when that starts to go away on my natural grip, I'll go back to that.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: It could be. It could be.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: Bones noticed something, and I kind of saw it now on a replay the other day that my eye alignment has not been over the ball, it's been over the top of it, and that's been throwing my lines off. When I hit good putts, they're not going in because it's a distorted view. If I could fix that, you know, I don't feel like I'm hitting bad putts, I'm just missing them a little bit on the sides. I don't feel like it's far off.

Q. You said the other day, I guess two days ago, you play well when people don't expect you to play well. I think this week people do expect you to play well. And you're playing well. How do you respond?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I think you just never know. You never know. But this golf course is a course where I get a similar feeling that I get at Augusta where I don't have to be perfect. I can miss shots. I can miss greens and still get up and down. I always have a chance. There's not the hack-it-out-rough. It is challenging. There are difficult shots, but they're manageable and hittable if you pull them off.

Q. I'm sure you're aware the New York Times story, what can you say about that?
PHIL MICKELSON: Not really anything. I just got off the golf course. But I'll continue to say, I haven't done anything wrong. And if there's -- I'm willing to help out, love to help out any way on the investigation. So like I said before, with an investigation going on, I'm not going to comment any further on it. But I'll continue to say that I've done absolutely nothing wrong.

Q. (Inaudible.)
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, I can't -- like I say, I really don't want to say much about it. I do have a lot to say and I will say it at the right time. I've got a lot to say, I just can't say it right now.

Q. How about the fan support?
PHIL MICKELSON: It's been great. The people out here have been wonderful. It's a special place for me, got a lot of great emotions and memories from 99. To come back and to feel the support is really special and cool.

Q. It always seems like they're trying to will the ball on to the green and into the hole, is that all good or can that up the pressure or expectation?
PHIL MICKELSON: If they're not, I certainly am trying to will it. I love it, I really am appreciative of the support. And it's -- this is a special week. This is a special tournament, a tournament that means a lot to me. I don't know if it will be this week or next year or the year after. I do still have a hundred percent confidence that I'll be able to break through and get one. I do feel, though, that this tournament gives me a great chance or this golf course, because I don't feel like I have to be perfect. I can hit a ridiculously bad iron shot, like a did on 2, and I can still get up and down.

Q. I heard you practiced putting for four hours, is that true?
PHIL MICKELSON: No. I came out and practiced four hours. Not solely on putting.

Q. I heard that you really felt the last day or so that your game is coming back. Is there a part of your game that isn't there, that you wish was --
PHIL MICKELSON: The last piece, I feel like I have pretty good control of my irons, driving the ball great. Putting is the one area that I feel -- I feel good on short putts, but I've got to make some 15, 20-footers, the ones that can go either way, to shoot a good enough number here. There's not enough pins that you can go at and send that 20-footer up the hill. I've got to make some of those. I didn't make any today, but I'm going to keep working on it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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