Humana Challenge interview: Phil Mickelson

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January 17, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: Humana Challenge transcripts archive

Q.  How is your energy?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Good.  I've felt a lot better.  I took it easy on Monday and Tuesday.  It was like day 10, but I'm fine now.  I'm 95 percent better.  I'm not contagious.  And the energy's coming back, I've been able to practice, I played a little bit yesterday and it's fine.  It's fine now.  It was no big deal.  It's been happening to a lot of people.

Q.  Just a cold?
PHIL MICKELSON:  A little bit more, but it's fine.  It wasn't like anything life threatening.  Just a little, you know, not feeling good.

Q.  A little rusty today do you think?
PHIL MICKELSON:  My timing and rhythm was off a little bit today.  My putter was atrocious and I've been putting great too.  So that was disappointing.  But it doesn't -- I know that it's there even though the results have been today were what they, were not good.  And I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow.
I birdied the last hole and hit some decent shots coming in, but on the greens and out of bounds on 10 and four, five, 6-footers, that has prevented me from having a good round today.

Q.  Did I hear you say that you thought that you hit a good shot on 10?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I did, yeah, I did hit a decent shot.  That hole has my number, you know.  And this time it hit a tree, hit the cart path, went out of bounds by a foot.  So that hole is just my nemesis.

Q.  How about on the par-3 where you hit the tee shot left and then the great flop over the tree?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, that was one of my better wedges.  But, as I was telling my partner, you know, you hit it there as much as I do eventually you're going to learn how to hit those shots.

Q.  And then the next hole when you were on the, when you played it up the other hole with the eagle chance.
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, gosh, I hit such a great 5-wood to 35 feet for eagle.  To 3-putt that is just, it was just a lot of rough stuff today.
But coming in here, even though I hadn't been able to practice a lot, when did I play and hit balls I was playing great.  And then today my rhythm was really off.  I hit some shots I hadn't been hitting, but kept the ball in play off the tee and was able to -- I hit a lot of fairways today and was able to shake out an even par round today.  As bad as that is, I've got a low round in me tomorrow, I think and it doesn't feel like it's far off.

Q.  Did you slip on the par-3 when you hit it way left?
PHIL MICKELSON:  No, no, it was just a very bad timing.  Quick from the top, lower body fast, just a bad swing.  I did the same thing on the next par-3 with the same club.  Only it went the other way.  I made par both times though, so.

Q.  Do you find it any harder to get motivated now at this point early in the season than you did say 10 years ago?
PHIL MICKELSON:  No, and the reason is that after being off for six weeks and taking time off I'm really anxious to get back.  I really love what I do, I love playing golf.  I love playing for a living and it's what I love to do.
So when I'm not playing for awhile, I really get excited to get back out and I was really amped up, I was nervous today and excited to play and maybe a little over amped because again everything was quick, my rhythm, timing everything was quick.  My putting was a little firm.  So hopefully I'll settle down tomorrow and play a good round.

Q.  Does any part of you wish you were in Abu Dhabi in the Tiger and Rory circus over there?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I went there.  It's a really nice place.  I like it there a lot.  It was enjoyable and my family and I learned a lot going there.  And where we stayed the Emirates Palace was opulent like you've never seen.
But I love it here too.  I've got a place right down here at Madison and I'm hanging out with some friends this week and hopefully Amy will drive over this weekend and it's really fun to be just a couple hours from San Diego.

Q.  So we're doing a 20 year retrospective on the '93 win at Torrey, what, I mean how special was that given the circumstance and what do you remember?  What stands out?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I remember shooting 75 that first day.  And being 3 or 4-over through like five or six.  It was a tough day.  It was really windy that day.  But still shooting 75 and to fight hard and come back with a 69 the next day and get myself somewhat back in it, and I was playing with the leader, Payne Stewart, at the time, to, that's a tournament I actually refer back to a lot because I didn't have a great first round, and I felt like you're just never out of it.  You shoot a good round the next day, you're right back in it.  And that's kind of the way I did it there.  And that's what I like to remember about that win.  In addition to it being my first win as a pro, second on TOUR.

Q.  Coming up 18?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, that was a special feeling.  With I had Amy there and we had just met not too long ago, just a few months prior and it was really a special time.

Q.  You gave your dad the car?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah.  He drove it for years.  I think he still has it, actually.

Q.  Does he still drive it?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah.

Q.  Those are his wheels?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah.  Yeah.  It's cool.

Q.  Do you remember what kind of car?
PHIL MICKELSON:  A Buick.  I want to say LeSabre, is that right?  Yeah.

Q.  Time for an upgrade, do you think?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, you know, yeah.

Q.  I'm curious with the arthritis, do you find yourself where since you've been on the Enbrel do you find yourself more susceptible to illness or sort of what you've been through the last week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, you know, that certainly is one of the side effects that you have to announce is that there's a possibility of a lower immune system, but I've been on it, let's say two and a half years, it was the first time I've been sick.  So I don't know, I don't know.  It is supposedly one of the side effects and yet I used to get sick every three or four months and this is the first time I've been sick in two and a half years.  So I don't know.

Q.  You don't find yourself having sort of quote unquote bad days.  You hear about people with arthritis where they wake up and just not feel great?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, you know, everybody's different and so I don't know, I don't know each case and different kinds of arthritis, all that stuff, I just know for me I've been fortunate because I got on it right away and I haven't had any long-term damage or anything that has prevented me from doing anything that I need to do to play golf or play well.

Q.  What was the yardage on 18 and club?
PHIL MICKELSON:  I had 68 to the hole and I hit a really pretty hard 8-iron for me because it was a little bit of hurt and hit a good shot there.

Q.  Is that a new putter this week?
PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, it's the same model that I have, but it's got white, black contrast as opposed to lines.  And I didn't think much of it until I was putting at night and I just started making everything in my yard.  And it kind of dawned on me that I wasn't looking at the line and getting so line conscious at the ball I was more worried about kind of rolling the putt and I just knew where I was aimed instinctively from the contrast on the putter and I thought that, gosh, this might, this actually might have something to it.
So I've been putting a little bit more out of my subconscious, although today I get in there and I go back to all right, you know, come on, and I wanted to make them so bad I just missed a bunch of 6-footers, but I've been putting it well.

Q.  What is it?
PHIL MICKELSON:  A Versa.

Q.  So no lines on the top?
PHIL MICKELSON:  No, just white, black, contrast, yeah.  And having these big blocks it's pretty easy to see where the fairways is aimed, you know.

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