Grand Slam of Golf

Day Two interview with Phil and friends

JULIUS MASON: Ladies and Gentlemen, the final round of the 22nd PGA Grand Slam Of Golf, Phil Mickelson, with rounds of 68, 59 for a 127, 17-under, in first place.

Vijay Singh, rounds of 66, 66, 132, 12-under.

Retief Goosen, 65, 68, for a 133 total, 11-under.

Todd Hamilton, rounds of 70, 75 for a 145, plus one finish.

Right now, we'd like to turn it over to Retief, some thoughts on your round today, please.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, got off to a good start. Didn't feel all that great today, but got off to a good start. Really in the middle of the round, lost a bit of energy and really started getting a bit dizzy. It was pretty much just a struggle out there for me the whole day.

JULIUS MASON: Eagle on No. 2. Still feeling dizzy from the beginning of the day or the Back 9?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, really, as it started getting really hot, so sort of from No. 7 onwards, I was not feeling really all that great. Started to get some food into me to see if that helped.

But in general, it was great week. I enjoyed it. It's good fun. Obviously, Phil had a great round today, and well-deserved.

JULIUS MASON: Todd, your thoughts today on the round.

TODD HAMILTON: Only thing for me, I had a great view to watch two pretty good rounds of golf and one superb round of golf.

I actually felt like I was in everyone's way today. I've been struggling with my golf for a while, and today really showed how my last couple months have been going really. But these guys all played well, and Phil's round was pretty spectacular. I don't think I've ever seen a guy hole so many putts. Very nice.

JULIUS MASON: Vijay, rounds of 66, 66. Not very bad today. Your thoughts on your round, please?

VIJAY SINGH: I played pretty good. I drove the ball much better today than I did yesterday. I don't know, it was just a decent round of golf.

And Phil outplayed everybody, or outscored everybody. But, you know, it was incredible. After about the 12th, 15th hole, we were just watching him. You know, it was just nice to see a guy make so many putts. Just played good golf towards the end.

I just tagged along, you know, made the putt on the last hole. I didn't know if I was going to make it. I don't think Retief even tried to make his (laughter). But when you're five back, it doesn't really better.

JULIUS MASON: Questions, please.

Q. Vijay and Retief, you guys weren't playing all that bad, but when Phil is having an exceptional round like he did, how does that affect your game, your mental approach?

VIJAY SINGH: You know, you play your own game out there. I mean, it doesn't matter if a guy is shooting 59 or 79. You just go out there and, you know, hit off the tee. You've got your yardage, hit your second. You're in your own mind. But you cannot help but watch your opponent play such good golf.

So it doesn't really affect us. I mean, we're still playing the tournament. It doesn't finish until 18, so anything could happen. Coming in, the holes are tough. You just hang in there and see if you could make all birdies. All I was trying to do was to make birdies coming in.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Exactly what he's saying, basically watch.

Q. Retief, how much did the cold, whatever you have, affect you today on the course?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, like I said earlier, it started getting to me from No. 7 onwards. It was quite hot. I don't know, just started getting quite dizzy. Then I had some food, and all sorts of stuff on the golf course, to see if I could get some energy back. But by then it was pretty much all over, the tournament.

Q. Were you pushing for Phil to get that 58?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah. It would have been nice. I'm sure he would have liked it. Made that putt on the last. But he also didn't want to really have a big run at it. You know, obviously his main goal was to make four on the last, and that's what he did.

Q. For all of you, do you have plans to return to Hawaii next year for the Mercedes and the Sony Open?

RETIEF GOOSEN: That's my plan. I'll be back for those two, yes.

TODD HAMILTON: Yes, be playing both of those.

VIJAY SINGH: Si (laughter).

JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much, gentlemen.

Phil Mickelson, Ladies and Gentlemen. He is the winner of the 22nd PGA Grand Slam of Golf, with rounds of 68 and 59, for a 127 total, 17-under. That is a 59 on today's round.

First of all, Phil, congratulations on joining Club 59. And for historical purposes, if you don't mind, take your time, we need you to go through the card, every hole, so we can put this in the record book. Let us know, starting with No. 1.

PHIL MICKELSON: The 1st hole, I hit a block drive to the left, in the left rough. I hit a gap-wedge from 125 yards to 40 feet and 2-putted.

On the 2nd hole, I hit a very good drive in the first cut on the right, the right side. I hit a 5-iron just over the green, putted it from off the green past the hole about six feet and made it for birdie.

On 3, I hit a 4-iron to 30 feet, and made that for birdie.

On 4, I hit a good drive, but I pulled it to the right, in the right rough. Only had 89 yards, and hit an L-wedge to about eight feet, and made that for birdie.

On 5, I hit a drive that I pulled slightly in the right rough. Hit a very good L-wedge shot from about 90 yards also. I'm sorry, it wasn't that far. It was 65 yards. I hit it to about six feet, made that for birdie.

I eagled 6. I hit a good drive on the fairway. I hit a Heavenwood 3 - I don't even know what to call it - to about 18, 20 feet, made that for eagle.

On 7, I hit an 8-iron to four feet, made it for birdie.

On 8, I pulled a 3-wood in the fairway bunker, hit a sand wedge heavy into the front bunker, and it plugged. Hit a really good bunker shot out to about six feet, made that for par.

9, I blocked the drive way left. Had 153 to the hole, only 127 to the front. I hit a 9-iron to about 15 feet and made that for birdie.

I parred the 10th hole. Hit a good drive in the fairway. I hit a 9-iron from 150 yards, 149 yards, hit it to about six feet, hit a great putt. Actually, I thought I made that, but it kicked out. Was the only one that didn't roll all the way through into the hole, it kicked out. Tapped it in for par.

The par 3, 11th, I hit a good 5-iron just over the pin to about 25, 30 feet. 2-putted for par.

On the 12th hole, I pulled the drive to the right again and had only -- it was only 130 to carry, so 147 to the hole. I hit a pitching wedge, landed just over and almost went in as it went by the hole. Went by it about four feet, made that for birdie.

On 13, I hit a 3-wood off the tee way right. Had a sand wedge left from 114 yards, and hit it way past the hole to about 50 feet, and made the putt. Unreal. Made that.

On the par 5, 14th, I hit a good drive and hit that Heavenwood 3, 3 Heavenwood, just left of the green. Carried over the bunker. I chipped up to about eight feet past the hole and made it for birdie.

On 15, again I pulled the drive to the right. Hit a lob wedge. Landed short about 40 feet from the hole. I 2-putted it for par.

On 16, I hit a good 3-wood on the fairway. I had 222 yards. I hit a 4-iron and cut it just a little bit. A little bit more aggressive lie than I probably should have, but I need I knew I needed to make one other birdie besides 18. Hit it to about 30 feet and made the putt. It was an awesome feeling to see that go in.

17, I kind of chunk-fatted a 4-iron there to the right. Hit a great chip to a foot and a half, two feet, made it for par.

On 18, I busted a great drive on 18 and hit 6-iron in to 10 feet, 2-putted it for 59.

JULIUS MASON: Phil's 127 total also ties the tournament record here, and his 28 on the Front 9 today is easily a record.

Phil, now sitting back, thinking about the final round today, some opening thoughts and we'll go to Q&A.

PHIL MICKELSON: It was certainly unexpected. I mean, I didn't hit it great today and somehow I shot 59. So go figure. I made everything. It was a great feeling to see the ball go in the hole, awesome.

JULIUS MASON: Questions, folks.

Q. When did you think 59 was a possibility? Did it ever enter your mind at the turn?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, certainly after shooting 28 the Front 9, it's going to pop in your head. I figured I needed to shoot 5-under in the back. But I didn't think about it again because I was only I think a shot ahead at the time. No, two shots ahead at the turn. So I was still just trying to win the event.

But when that long putt went in, and I made birdie on the par 5, that long putt on 13, I birdied the par 5, I knew that I only needed two more birdies. And 18 was a birdie hole. I needed to make one of the next three holes. The next three holes were pretty tough, though. 16 and 17 are probably the two toughest holes out there. And I hit two really good shots on 16 and made a great putt, a really long putt that just curled in at the last.

I knew that 18 was a birdie hole, but I had to hit the fairway to really have a good shot at it. I hit a great drive, and had a slight uphill lie there. So all the while, I guess the answer to your question, I thought about it right after I birdied the par 5. I thought that was feasible.

Q. Put this in perspective, this round of 59. Other rounds that you've had in the past, how does it rank for you?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's by far the lowest, you know. I've never shot 59, so it's the lowest (laughter).

This is a fun event. And I haven't played in two weeks; I certainly didn't expect to play well. I won't play again for five weeks. So I don't anticipate or didn't really work hard, because I had no other events coming up. And I just went out and just kind of played. And today the ball went in the hole.

I don't really have an explanation for it. But I think an important shot in all this was actually the eagle yesterday on 18 because that got me within three shots, and I actually started thinking about winning and maybe I can come out today and put together a good round if I get off to a good start.

When Retief eagled the 2nd hole, it just didn't look like it was going to be a day for me to win. And yet the putts started to go in. And when that happens, the game seems so easy.

Q. You have experienced the ultimate pressure in golf: putts to win major championships. What kind of pressure was there today, let's say at 17 and 18?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, fortunately I hit the chip shot on 17 close. But I certainly felt the pressure. I was trying to get one other birdie. I was trying to do it on 17, and hit a poor tee shot. Knew I needed to make par.

I felt the pressure on the 6-iron on 18. I had a slight uphill lie. And that uphill lie makes it a lot easier to draw the golf ball than to fade it. There was wind off of the water left to right. So I actually started that 6-iron out over the water. It was a good feeling to see the thing coming back, drawing back over land.

But the last putt, you know, to me there's not much difference between a 58, 59. There's a huge difference between 59 and 60. So the last putt, although I didn't really feel that much pressure because I really didn't have to make it, I just wanted to make sure I 2-putted. Consequently, I hit it a little easy and missed it a little low. But it was awfully nice to be able to tap in from 10, 12 inches to shoot 59.

Q. What do you think it will be like now for the next five weeks knowing that the last round you shot was 59? You don't have to play another round after that.

PHIL MICKELSON: Little anti-climactic for next year, I guess.

I don't have any aspirations of really ever going out and shooting 59. It just seems to happen. What I really want to do is prepare myself for next year, and know that 59 isn't the goal, it's to start winning tournaments. When you start playing well, things like this happen.

Again, it feels a little like a fluke, though, because I wasn't really sharp, I didn't really feel like I was practicing. It just all kind of came together. The ball went in the hole.

It kind of shows me that that's what you need to play your best. That's how I play my best. So when I force at the majors or at other tournaments, I'm not going to get the best score. When I kind of free-wheel it, let my game just kind of take care of itself, the ball seems to find the whole sometimes, most of the time.

Q. In golf or in any other sport you participated in, have you ever been in the zone like you were today?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, there were times -- there have been times in my career, I would certainly go back to what got me here in this event, the Masters, the Back 9 at Augusta, to shoot 5-under those last seven holes, it was a very slow-motion Back 9. Everything was going at a slow pace, and I could see very clearly the shot that I wanted to hit and how I wanted the ball to roll on the greens. So there have been a number of times where that's happened.

Today I didn't really feel that sharp off the tee. It was when I got on the surface, when I got on the green, boy, I was just able to see the line and get the ball to go in, which in all honesty has never happened to me on Bermuda greens. It's a good feeling.

Q. Taking a couple weeks away from golf and having your friends and family here, do you think that actually helped you?

PHIL MICKELSON: Very possibly. Very possibly. I think that and not having much expectation. You know, I see Vijay out there practicing so hard, knowing I haven't touched a club in a couple of weeks, and he's played so great all year, and thinking it's very unlikely that I'll be able to play two rounds at that level.

But a lot of things kind of came together. I kind of free-wheeled it. I think the fact that there wasn't much wind allowed me to keep my misses a lot smaller and get around the course. And it came down to a putting match, and I was able to outputt everybody.

Q. Obviously, you want to return, try to return next year to defend your title?

PHIL MICKELSON: That's the whole goal, absolutely. We all want to get back here because it means we've won a major. That's what we're all shooting for. It's been a fun challenge.

Q. How about starting out 2005, will you return to Hawaii to play in the Mercedes and the Sony?

PHIL MICKELSON: In all honesty, it's unlikely. I wouldn't rule it out, but it's unlikely. Because I play almost every event on the West Coast starting in San Diego, Bob Hope, AT&T, Phoenix Open, World Match Play, and because of my relationship with Ford, I played the Ford Championship in March on the East Coast. So I play six out of seven events.

I'm not ruling it out. But because I haven't played, I feel like I'll need a couple of weeks to get my game ready.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks very much, Phil.

PHIL MICKELSON: Thanks, guys.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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