Arnold Palmer Invitational interview: Phil Mickelson

March 21, 2013

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Q. Talk about that ending there, you kind of got that back at 16 there.
Yeah, three putting 17 and 18 just feels terrible walking off the course.  But I hit it terrible today.  I felt terrible with swinging the club.  I didn't know which way I was going to miss it.  And that's not a good feeling.  So to get in at 1 over, I thought anything par or better would be a pretty good score.  I'll have to make some adjustments heading into tomorrow.

Q.  I just wanted to ask you about the first time in a long time that you won't play an event the week before Augusta.  I mean, obviously the schedule is different this year.  How does that affect you?  You really liked that tournament the week before.

Q.  Does it change things or change the way you're preparing?
Yeah.  I mean, for me personally, I like playing a tournament that's similar to what we'll be playing, and for a long time we had a pretty good tournament before the U.S. Open.  I don't remember which one it is.  But now it's Memphis.  It's so hot that I run out of energy, and going into the Open I'm drained, so I don't play there anymore.

This year having a windy, tight course isn't really conducive to getting ready for Augusta, and that makes it difficult for me personally, so I'll end up going to Augusta a few days early and what have you.  I've got to make some adjustments just because the tournaments that are the week before the majors are not helping us at all get ready.

Q.  It was Westchester every other year.
That's what it was.  That was a great spot for it.

Q.  Do you get just a little bit antsy?  Do you prefer to take your mind off the Masters by having competition the week before?
I find when I take a week off I come out like I did today, just mentally not sharp, and the more I play, the sharper I get, and usually the second or third tournament is when I play my best.  So that's why I like to have a tournament before a major, because a major's penalty for a miss is so severe, you've got to be sharp on each shot right from the gate.