Deutsche Bank interview: Phil Mickelson

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August 30, 2013

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PHIL MICKELSON:
When I birdied 17, because 18 is a par 5 and you have one more coming up, and I got it to 6 through 8 holes I felt like there was a chance to go really low.

Q. How would you compare today to way back earlier in the year when you almost went to in Scottsdale?

PHIL MICKELSON:
I thought the holes out here in the front nine were going to be tougher to birdie than Phoenix. In Phoenix the weather was perfect, there was no wind, the ball was going through the air easier. Here there was a little bit of swirly wind, even though you couldn't tell much. I knew the other side was going to be tougher, but I still felt I could have shot three or four under.

Q. You made that turn, you made your first bogey at 1. Then you got to the second hole and really turned it back in gear. We're going to see that second shot at the par 5, how would you describe that?

PHIL MICKELSON:
After a really good drive I hit a 6 iron. I had 210 to the hole and I felt like it would fly right into the bank, just short of the pin, and it did, it took a lot of the steam off and the ball just crept up.

I made two bad swings today, obviously the tee shot on 9 and obviously the gap wedge on the first hole, I'm looking right down the throat, make another birdie, get it to 9 under through 10. And I leave it in the bunker, and it was a really tough bunker shot and I missed the putt. Those two swings were the only two bad ones. Otherwise I hit a lot of good ones today.

Q. When you're going low and you have a chance to go sub 60 for the first time in your PGA TOUR career, is it deflating at any point at the end of the round, perhaps that's maybe why you had the swing at 9, when you know you don't have a chance anymore, or are you still concentrating on the task at hand?

PHIL MICKELSON:
I wasn't too worried about shooting 59. I was more worried about trying to keep it in the low 60s, get it as low as I could.

When I didn't birdie 4, that's when I stopped thinking about 59. I had to birdie 4. And I had a little cuppy lie, the ball was sitting down. Looking back I should have flopped it, because I couldn't make solid contact, it was sitting a little too low. Had I birdied 4 I would have been thinking 59.

Q. You had something magic going on in the first nine holes.

PHIL MICKELSON:
I felt I played really well. Obviously I putted well. I really made a lot of good putts. The greens were perfect the front nine. I saw the line. And I just rolled them in. It felt really good to putt like that.

Q. You make the turn, you bogeyed 1, things happen, you eagled 2. I'm guessing you didn't have that good a lie with your second shot at the 4th?

PHIL MICKELSON:
No, the ball sits down on a lot of these wedges. And I should have just flopped it. I should have played it fat. Because I was going to have a hard time making solid contact. I was worried about going long, and behind the hole is a tough shot. I caught it a little heavy and didn't make birdie. When I didn't make birdie that's when I stopped thinking 59. If I had birdied 3, made that 18 footer and birdied 4 I would have been thinking it.

Q. Anything in your warm up that indicated this round was coming?

PHIL MICKELSON:
No, and to be honest with you, I didn't hit it that close. I didn't hit it as well as I feel I could. But I put it close enough on the green and I putted unbelievable.

Q. 10 putts on the front, 25 putts total. You said you found a secret you don't really want to talk about.

PHIL MICKELSON:
Well, for the last three or four years I haven't putted as well as I know I could. I've putted very average at best, with a few really good weeks. And now I feel like I'm putting great every week, with a few weeks, like the PGA, where it was just fractionally off. And it just feels great. I can see the line and I'm rolling the ball down that line.

Q. You went to a thicker grip, you have a better feel, you're not gripping the putter as tight, you have a better feel with the hands and you can feel the exact amount of forward thrust?

PHIL MICKELSON:
Have at it. Fire away all your theories that you want, but I ended up having conversations with eight of the best putters I've ever seen. And we've probably talked between 30 minutes and two hours, or at least I have with these guys. And I actually took notes. And there's one thing that they all said that's the same. And that's been my secret.

Q. At the end of the tournament you're going to tell me that?

PHIL MICKELSON:
Maybe.

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