What they said: Phil Mickelson

February 16, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

MORE INTERVIEWS: Northern Trust Open transcript archive

Q. Can you expand on the wind as a man who's won here, to score with some of the crosswinds and headwinds? How tough was that?

PHIL MICKELSON: It was a challenging day today because Riviera doesn't give you great opportunities to run balls onto the green. That kikuyu grabs it so you really have to fly it on. Fortunately the greens were somewhat receptive, and that's why I think the scores weren't extremely high. A lot of them were right around par. You could keep the ball underneath the wind, underneath the tree line and still get it to stop somewhat on the greens because they were receptive. So I thought that even though the wind was challenging, it was still a fair test.

Q. When you won Sunday, one of the things I enjoyed you talking about was the confidence, getting your confidence back. I think young golfers, young athletes would learn from that. It sure seems like your confidence is pretty darned high. Is that accurate??

PHIL MICKELSON: I felt very confident at the start of the year because I had played eight to ten rounds exactly like Sunday's final round, and I felt like I was so amped up and ready to start the season that I came out and played three terrible tournaments, and I don't know what happened there, and my confidence took a little bit of a hit. To come back and play the way I know I can play Sunday when I needed it most at Pebble, it gets my confidence right back to where I was starting the season, and I'm excited about the upcoming event, especially heading into our biggest event in April.

Q. Did you feel on that first hole by getting a birdie on 1, okay, confidence is still going to be with me??

PHIL MICKELSON: No, not the one hole, because No.1 is a hole you really need to make birdie, and there were a lot of challenging holes ahead that the wind was going to make difficult pars in some instances. That one start or that one shot wasn't really the key.

Q. On 11, was that driver off the fairway??

PHIL MICKELSON: Yes. I didn't think it was going to necessarily be reachable into that wind, but I was able to hit a low drive off the tee that scooted along the ground, and I felt like if I could hit one more of those with a driver I could get right up by the green. If the pin were 10, 15 feet more to the right over that hump I probably would not have done that. I would have laid back to where I could have spun something over the hump but because it wasn't hidden around that little mound there, I felt like it was worth the risk to try to scoop one up.

Q. How often do you practice driver off the deck??

PHIL MICKELSON: A decent amount, yeah. I mean, some drivers you can-- some drivers you just cannot do it. Some drivers it's not versatile enough, but this one is.

Q. How meaningful was it to end the way that you ended??

PHIL MICKELSON: It feels really good to get that one extra shot because I felt like I left one or two out on 16, 17, and you hate to have such a good round and let a few slide late. To make that shot unexpectedly on 18 felt like I got one of those back.

Q. Did you have a good line? Did you see it pretty well?

PHIL MICKELSON: It wasn't one I was really trying to make. It was quick, it was downhill, and I had to play about four or five feet of break, so it's not one that you're trying to get aggressive with. I was trying to get good speed and try to let it feed with the break, and I got fortunate obviously that it went in.