What they said: Phil Mickelson

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February 17, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Northern Trust Open transcript archive Q. Can you just take us through your last three holes??

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah. So I probably didn't play the greatest today, but I was able to kind of salvage a good round and had a good break on 8 where I holed out from the fairway. That was kind of a nice little bonus.

I left myself uphill par putts on 7 and 9, and that's really not a good thing to do here. If you're going to make four , five , six footers you really have to have them uphill where you can hit them aggressive enough to hold the line and they just kind of wobbled off, so I ended up missing those.

I made some good par putts today, though, early in the round especially. I got a lot out of the round today, even though I let a couple there slide, but I got a lot out of the round because I really didn't give myself too many great opportunities for birdie.

Q. What did you hit for the eagle??

PHIL MICKELSON: It was an L wedge. I hit a good drive. I had 110 yards, and what I tried to do is if I go at that pin again, I've been struggling with when I expect the greens to release, they're stopping. When I expect them to stop, they're releasing. I was afraid if I went at that pin I could easily go long and go all the way down that hill. And rather than take a chance, what I tried to do was kind of sling hook an L wedge and try to side spin it towards the hole when it got on the green, and I felt that would take away I could be short or long and be okay. It kind of side spun right in the hole, so it worked out just perfect.

Q. Yesterday you talked about on 18 getting that extra stroke back. As much as you play, is that a 1 percent shot??

PHIL MICKELSON: There's some shots you need a little bit of luck where you're just trying to get it close. The chip in on 18 last night where it was so quick down that hill, I was just trying to get it close and salvage par. Certainly I'm just trying to make birdie on 8 and the ball happens to go in. I've had a couple of good breaks.

Q. Anything in particular you're going to practice??

PHIL MICKELSON: I'll spend a little bit more time with some of my distance control, short irons, as well as I've got some poa annua greens in my yard that I'll practice on, as well. I'll just get a little bit more dialed in with the putter.

Q. It's behind your house??

PHIL MICKELSON: It's a four acre short game facility I have.

Q. What did you hit on 13? Sounds like a case of stop and release, I guess.

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, so 13 I tried to release a wedge back, and it took a huge divot and just stopped 60 feet short. I tried to hit a little knock down wedge, and it checked up. And then I tried to fly my 8 iron on 15 to the hole, and it just didn't even make a divot, it took off, rolled 60 feet by.

So I was struggling with gauging what the ball how the ball was going to react on the green.

Q. (No microphone.)

PHIL MICKELSON: You know, either way everybody has got to deal with it, but I was just having I was off on my guess.

Q. How quickly do you make it from here to home??

PHIL MICKELSON: An hour 15, door to door.

Q. Conditions today seem a little more benign than they were yesterday, yet the scores aren't any lower. Is the golf course playing tougher, pin locations??

PHIL MICKELSON: I think one of them was the inconsistency on the greens of being able to judge what the ball is going to do, and I think the other is there was a lot of "unsmoothness" around the hole. I don't know how is there a nice way to say it? So it was tough to really get too aggressive on some of the putts because you just didn't know where the short ones were going to kick off.

Q. Was there bumpiness??

PHIL MICKELSON: That would probably be another adjective, yeah. I was trying to say it a little nicer, but it sounded not great.

Q. Does your score reflect how you played today do you think??

PHIL MICKELSON: I got a lot more out of it, I think. I thought there were some low scores out there. I wanted to score low. I played well enough, but I didn't give myself chances to really go much lower, and I ended up probably getting a pretty good score for the way I played.

Q. The chip in on 16 --

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, you had a pretty good view of that one.

Q. I was curious what you were looking at. You took one last look at the green right in front of you.

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, because if you notice what I did was hit it a little more aggressive into the green because it was soft there, and if I flew it another five feet it was going to be firm, so if I flew it five more feet and brought it in higher I thought it would have raced 15 feet by. So I hit it into the soft spot and kind of tried to get it to stop.

Q. Can you talk about the bogey streak ending? You went 49 holes without a bogey. Can you talk about your reaction to that kind of a run?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I guess that's pretty cool. I thought that to do it on Sunday was even more important. Thursday you still have time to make up some mistakes if they happen early enough, and to play Sunday at Pebble in some decently difficult conditions, I thought, without a bogey, that was nice. Those two big par putts on 12 and 15 were big for me.

Q. Disappointed you weren't able to, after yesterday's good round, continue the momentum today and maybe get yourself a little more distance between the rest of the field??

PHIL MICKELSON: Maybe. Maybe. But I also put myself in contention heading into the weekend, which is what my initial goal was, and so with 36 holes to go I'm right in the thick of it. I've got to go out and shoot some low scores because they're out there, but I gave myself a good opportunity, which is what's so fun about competing and playing the TOUR is those opportunities on the weekend.

Q. (Inaudible) up until the point you made the putt?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I hit it in that bunker, and you just can't hit it in that bunker. You can't hold the green. So that 3 wood that I hit was two feet from being perfect, and instead of it just creeping on, it crept to the right and in the sand. I know you just can't miss it right. You can't be in that bunker, and that's where I hit it, so I was fortunate to make par.

Q. Were you surprised that it ran out that much??

PHIL MICKELSON: No, I'm just trying to get it on. That's a very difficult hole. I know that it's short so you're thinking three, but I see more fives and sixes than I do threes there.

Q. Did you ever think about laying up to the left and bringing a wedge in close to the green??

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, if you're going to be in those bunkers, I'd rather be there in one than two, and I find that I can play for par up around the green a lot easier than I can back in the fairway.

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