Phil Mickelson (Flash)
Q. All in all it might have been satisfying to get 1‑down with when you really needed it?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, this was a ‑‑ I mean I barely made the cut. My goal was to shoot under par. I had multiple chances and I was fractionally off on the greens. I just didn't make any until the last putt.
I think the longest putt I made was four feet. It was close though, like they were just a fraction off, missing them bay inch or two. I had a really good thing happen yesterday. I hit balls after the round, and I had this really good breakthrough. I felt much better with the ball striking and was able to work it. Again, I hit draws, fades, and I think that I'm on to something will. I should be able to progress or get better each day ball‑striking wise. But to come back from eight shots is going to be very tough.
Tiger hitting the ball very well. Jim Furyk's extremely solid, and I don't think they're going to come back too much. So I'm going to have to shoot quite a bit under par to make a run on this course and it's really tough to do, because you got to make 40, 50 footers, there's just not a lot of holes to make birdies on.
Q. A little ways back to Pebble, but with regard to Tiger, you were obviously had your great round in that final round there. What do you see from him that you didn't see back then just from what you are observing?
PHIL MICKELSON: Control. He has great control of his ball striking, and he's able to hit a lot of the fairways. He's got a very good low shot with his long irons 3‑wood, as well as his four action five six‑irons. There's a lot of four or five six‑irons off these tees and he's shaping well, getting it in play and then you then he hit a lot of four, five six‑irons into the greens answer he's doing that extremely well too.
Q. What is your goal for the rest of the tournament? To play as well as you can? Or do you still think about winning?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well it depends on how tomorrow goes. Obviously I'll be 1‑putt of the first groups, if I I've got to play a good solid round. I felt like again there was, I played well enough today to shoot under par and I have to shoot three or 4‑under par tomorrow to have a chance for Sunday. It's out there, but it's very difficult. You've got to strike it well, but you've got to make some putts and I just that's the one part that kind of let me down today.
Q. What was your breakthrough in layman's terms?
PHIL MICKELSON: Just a slight thing on the setup. It wasn't allowing me to bring the club back where I wanted to and on an inside path. I was taking it outside, and I was getting it in a bad position from the start.
Q. Is the course putting you guys on the defensive too much, do you think?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I think that, I don't think so. There's opportunities. The back side there's great opportunities. Starting from once you hit 7, granted 8's a tough par, but 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, even 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, those holes, 18, you can make birdies. I feel like you can shoot three or 4‑under the back nine that ‑‑ it's tough to shoot even on the front, but I feel like there's a 3‑, 4‑under par out there for somebody tomorrow morning.
Q. Is that with a lot of risk?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, it requires a lot of solid golf, fairways, greens, you got to make two or three 40 footers and then capitalize on 7, maybe 17, but and there's four or 5‑under.
Q. Does the fact that the guys are the 1‑under are Toms, Furyk and Tiger, does that speak to this course setup how it behooves like the patient veteran?
PHIL MICKELSON: Possibly. I haven't really looked at the leaderboard. I've been more on the cut line. (Laughter.)
Q. How about the speed of the greens?
PHIL MICKELSON: They're quick, but with the, I feel like that the softening of the pitch from '98 just a half a degree to a degree it can handle these speeds. I think the greens are in perfect shape. Really rolling nice. I'm really pleased with what great condition they are in.
I remember coming to Pebble, and it was very frustrating to putt on a waffle iron. Here if you hit a good putt it's going to hold its line and go in. They're just beautiful. Whoever softened the pitch did a perfect amount. They're just very well done.