Northern Trust Open interview: Phil Mickelsontext sizeFebruary 15, 2013
MORE INTERVIEWS: Northern Trust Open transcripts
Q. Didn't see your second shot on 10.
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit a drive way left and hit it in some of the trees there; I hit somebody; kind of fatted it into the chipping area. And the chipping area is so tight, I couldn't get a wedge underneath it, bladed across the green in the bunker. Hit a bunker shot to six feet and missed it.
Q. You know you couldn't get a wedge underneath it?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a really precise shot. I mean, as tight as these areas around the green that are shaved, it's tough to get a wedge underneath it, I really didn't have a chance. I could have putted it 25 feet to the side. Looking back, it would have saved me a shot but that's not really how I like to play.
Q. After the second shot on 1, did you see something magical coming?
PHIL MICKELSON: I felt it was going to be a good round, yeah, and it was; 4‑under is not a bad round. In fact, you know, with the exception of one hole on 10, it took a great round and just turned it into a pretty good one.
But I really like the way the swing started to feel today. I hit some really good shots. I hit two really good shots on 11 on the par 5, I hit two really good shots on 17, driver and 3‑wood, and hit some good iron shots. It's tough to get the ball close to the hole on those greens and I know that, so I try to be patient, and on the holes where I really need to make birdie, like 11 and 17, I ended up hitting the shots that I needed to to make birdies.
Q. Probably going to be right at the split?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I'm 13th right now. It's only five back and I just need a good round tomorrow to get right in it for Sunday.
Q. What do you think it's going to take the next couple rounds to try to win this thing?
PHIL MICKELSON: You know, your guess is as good as mine. But it's a golf course where there will be some people that go low, that shoot some low rounds, but it's not a given. You've got to play some really good golf to shoot 5‑, 6‑, 7‑under.
Q. Playing firm and fast compared to the last few years.
PHIL MICKELSON: It is. Great example was on the 13th hole, I hit an 8‑iron that landed two feet short of the green in the kikuyu and it just stopped at 60 feet from the hole. But had it flown two feet further, it would have landed on the green and released right down by the hole.
So you've got to be very, very precise on some of your iron shots. So you try to bring the ball high and soft but sometimes the greens are so firm, they will release all the way to the back.
Q. What part of your game to you want to improve the next couple rounds?
PHIL MICKELSON: I felt like today my game was pretty sharp. I drove the ball well. Hit some pretty good iron shots. Hit a lot of iron shots the way I wanted to, and I feel like I'm putting good. So I just need to put it together for the right number.