What they said: Phil Mickelson

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February 18, 2011
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Northern Trust Open transcript archive Q. Phil, 1-under 70 today to go with a 71 yesterday. Not really where you want to be, but it seems like the putter is working pretty good. We've just got to get birdie putts, not par putts.

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, yesterday was a day where I felt like I struck the ball really well and I didn't get much out of the round, shot even par. Today I played absolutely terrible. I didn't know where it was going. I could have missed it way left, way right. I was able to make a bunch of pars. I made a couple of -- a lot of great putts for par and made a couple from off the green for birdie to shoot 1-under.

I'm not pleased obviously being in the position where I'm at, but it could be a lot worse, and I should be within striking distance if I can go out and shoot some hot round tomorrow.

Q. You think a lot on the golf course and try to figure stuff out. Could you please walk me through what you were thinking on 11??

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, what I was going to do was I was taking relief from the path, and then I was going to take relief from the sprinkler back onto the path and try to get a shot to go right of the tree so I could hit the 3-wood down there, okay, but when I dropped it on the sprinkler head, it ended up on the right side of the sprinkler head, not the left, and I wasn't able to get a driver length close -- get it to the path because relief was on the other side of the sprinkler. I needed to be on the side of the path. So then I was going to redo it, and I messed up my drop, meaning I dropped so far back that the sprinkler was now in front of me and it was no longer going to be an obstruction. So I just wasn't thinking.

But if I had dropped it on the other side of the sprinkler head when I placed it after two times and was closer to the path, I could have had relief closer to the path and been able to reach it and had a much better shot. I could have hit 3-wood right down there around the trees going right and had a little wedge in.

Q. Well, that was my guess, you were trying to get it on the path because your feet were there, and I knew once you took that drop you were trying to get it closer. What do you think you've got to do now the next two days other than probably shoot a little lower than you are right now for sure? And Freddie Couples, come on.

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it's great to see him playing well, it really is. It's great to see him playing well out here. It shows the kind of game he's got. If he can play a couple tournaments like this heading into Augusta, a course that he loves, he's going to be a real threat there, too.

Q. What do you have to go shore up today??

PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not real worried about it because this was the only ball-striking round this year that I felt wasn't really good, and I'm not going to stress over it. I figured something out the last three holes in my setup, and I struck it much more solid. So I think that I'll be able to get it dialed in tomorrow.

Q. The putter came to life coming in, so that could be huge??

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, if I can give myself some birdie putts, I feel confident I can get some to go.

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