Bridgestone interview: Phil Mickelson

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August 04, 2013

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Q.  Summation of the week?

PHIL MICKELSON: 
You know, the golf course was in great shape.  It was really a fun event.  I've always enjoyed playing here, and early in my career I've had a lot of success, and late in my career I've not had success here.  But it has not changed the way I feel about the course and the tournament.  It's just a wonderful straightforward test of golf.  It was in excellent shape.  I thought the weather was great.  It's a great place to have a World Golf Championship and to have a tournament the week before a major, our last major.

Q.  Can you put your finger on what exactly gives you trouble around here?

PHIL MICKELSON: 
Not really, no.  I mean, I enjoy it.  I enjoy the challenge, and I don't have a great reason as to why I haven't played well the last eight, ten years, but I wasn't as sharp this week as I needed to be, as I need to be next week.

Q.  A bit of fatigue perhaps?

PHIL MICKELSON:
  I would think so, and I didn't have a chance to prepare properly.  I was doing some other ancillary stuff.  But I had a good week of practice.  My game does feel pretty good, but I'll have to be a lot sharper on each shot next week.

Q.  What's your strategy for the lead‑up to the PGA Championship?  You guys are flying over there now and you'll get some practice in on the golf course?

PHIL MICKELSON:
  I spent Monday this week at Oak Hill, so I don't have to do too much course work.  I just have to get‑‑ I've studied the golf course.  I know exactly how I'm going to play it, I just need to get my game sharp now, and I'll probably take tomorrow off and rest, and then I'll play Tuesday a practice round, and Wednesday will depend on how I feel at the time.

Q.  I know you don't like to give out all your secrets, but just in a generic sense, what is the key to success at Oak Hill, would you think?

PHIL MICKELSON: 
The rough is extremely long and thick, I mean, as long and thick of rough as I've seen in a long time.  It could very well be that they grew it out the week before with the intention of cutting it the week of the tournament, but from what I saw they had just cut it, and it was as long and thick a rough as I had seen.  I mean, it was eight to 12 inches long, not just four.  So I'm sure they're going to cut some of it, but it was extremely thick, and so therefore the key to that course is going to be two things:  One is the fairway; you've got to hit fairways.  You can leave yourself further back, but you've got to hit fairways.  And two is Donald Ross courses, the greens tend to be a little bit more severe back to front, and I think you're going to have to leave it underneath the hole.  Chipping from behind the greens are almost impossible to get it close.  You'll have to play from short of the green.  You get in trouble off the tee, you've got to play short of the green.  You can't try to get there, because if you get a hot one that goes over, very difficult to get it up‑and‑down.

Q.  Will you hit driver at all there on 17 and 18?

PHIL MICKELSON: 
I had not planned on hitting driver on those holes, but I was thinking about carrying it in case the wind came up on some particular holes and I played some into the wind because there were some holes that were marginal 3‑wood being enough club for me or getting it out to where I want.  But I don't anticipate hitting driver.  And if the weather is going to be nice, if it's going to be warm, I probably won't carry driver, I'll probably put 64 in, but right now I'm planning on carrying a driver.

Q.  Is that going to be a day by day thing?

PHIL MICKELSON: 
Possibly, very possibly.  I don't think either club is necessary.  I don't need a 64‑degree wedge and I don't need a driver.  But I don't think I'll just play with 13, either.  So I'll probably carry one of those.

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