Wells Fargo Championship interview: Phil Mickelson

May 03, 2013

Well Fargo Championship transcript archive

I'd like to welcome Phil Mickelson. Phil, thank you for taking the time to come down and talk to everybody. You got it to 9 under today. If you want to start off with some of the highlights from your round and then we'll take some questions.

PHIL MICKELSON: I got off to a good start. I birdied the first two holes, so that set a good tone for the round. The first 27, 28 holes I have not driven the ball very well which is, most people would say, not surprising. But before I came here, I was driving the ball phenomenal. I really am excited about the way I've been hitting it off the tee, and I'm looking forward to this weekend.

After the 28th hole, after I played 10, I made a slight alignment adjustment and I was able to get it back to where I had been driving it.

I think if I drive it well this weekend, it's going to be a fun weekend and I fully expect to. I've putted really well. It's been fun.

Q. Does it feel driving wise a little like Phoenix or something like that? You talked about how much confidence you had out there.

Yes, but I haven't done it. Coming in here, I had been hitting as long and as straight as I ever have. And I think I've been overswinging a little bit. My alignment got a little messed up, and the last eight holes I made a slight adjustment and it felt great. I started to have control again where I wanted to go. I hit some good tee shots and hit it with confidence. I think that I'll have a good weekend of driving too because it was just a fraction off.

But despite that, I've been able to get the ball in the hole and make pars and birdies.

Q. You talked about your putting. Last I saw 31 for 31 inside of ten feet so far this week. How difficult is that with these greens basically how they are right now?

Well, I think that the greens are putting very, very good, obviously, because I've putted them well. But with them being slower, we're able to putt them aggressively. We're able to take some of the break out without fear of racing it way by. And I've made a concerted effort to leave uphill putts which has allowed me to putt even more aggressive and play even less break, and that's made a big difference in my putting.

Q. What was the alignment adjustment?

I was getting closed, and I had to hang back and flip it to get it online.

Q. Closed with your shoulder?

Feet and body, it was just a fraction off. Opened up to get back square and I was able to rip at it.

Q. Is this now as good as you felt at Quail Hollow in all the years you've played here?

Possibly, yeah, possibly. I've played well here in the past, and I've had some good chances. So it's hard for me I've been coming here what, 9, 10 years, so it's hard for me to say exactly and compare them all.

But I feel excited about the weekend because I know I'm going to drive it well this weekend. I know that I've been hitting it well, even though I haven't shown you the first 28 holes. And everything else feels pretty good, short game, chipping, putting, irons feel pretty good.

Q. You were talking about the Mayweather fight yesterday, but your brother is really into the horses. Do you share his love of that? Is the Derby something you watch?

I'm trying to get into it. He and I are fractional owners in a horse, but I couldn't tell you the name of it.

Q. That's what he said. This horse had Derby aspirations. I mean, there was a chance at one point that it could maybe have run in this Derby. Did you even know that?

I did not, but if he had done that I probably would be there, because I've never been to the Derby. I hear what a great environment it is, but I'm kind of happy it didn't work out because I like being right here.

Q. You putted really well. Do you feel still you could have gotten a couple more birdies out there because there were some close misses?

Honestly, not really, no. I mean, I made a lot of putts that they weren't gimmes. They were 15 feet. I made a long one on 9. I got a lot out of the round today. I have to drive it better to be more aggressive to shoot lower this weekend because I'm getting as much out of the round as I can.

Q. Can you recall another course on TOUR that you haven't won at yet that you believe you've had this many chances or even as close?

Maybe, but I wouldn't help you out on that. You've got to look that one up yourself. I'm not going to volunteer it.

Q. In your own mind is what I'm asking.

One of my favorite courses we play on TOUR is Hilton Head. I think it's one of the best courses we have, and I haven't been there in years because it's after The Masters and I'm pretty tired. I came close a couple of times to winning there and got shellacked by Davis Love all those years that he was winning. I would have liked to have ended up winning that tournament, but it just didn't happen.

This is one that means a lot to me though. I come here for many years, I plan on coming back every year. It's one of my favorite courses we play. Tee to green it's one of the best I've ever seen, and it's the best run PGA TOUR event we have.

Q. How much do you give yourself to put a week like Augusta behind you?

I take a week off. I don't touch a club. I'm pretty tired and don't do much for a week, and then I start to get back in it. The time that I start to get back in it, I'll know in the first day or two if the next stretch that I play is going to be good or bad. If it just clicks and I start hitting good shots, I'm not fighting it and I usually play really well. If it's off and I'm trying to fix it all the time, I usually continue to try to fix it for the next few weeks.

Q. I'm talking more about the disappointment of the week.

Oh, no, it happens. It happens. You look forward to the next major, the next big event, in this case, THE PLAYERS. But the U.S. Open, you know, I've finished second five times. I haven't been back to Merion since the '89 Amateur, but it's been on my mind a lot, because I would love nothing more than to win a U.S. Open and add that to major championships. Finishing second five times and not ever winning it would be a huge disappointment, and I think Merion's going to be a good opportunity for me because there are not a lot of drivers and necessary to hit drivers off a lot of holes. I'll be hitting a long of 3 woods, hybrids, and long irons in I would anticipate from what I hear. And the strength of my game which is short, mid irons into the green, I think that will give me a good chance.

Q. Is the driver you're using, is that the Phrankenwood that you broke out at The Masters?

Yes, that and the 3 wood, the X Hot 3 wood, I've used both. They're very similar. They look a lot alike. But the Phrankenwood or the driver is basically a 3 wood slightly enlarged and made into a driver.