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Phil Mickelson chips to the 17th green as his caddie Jim Mackay watches during the first round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. (Photo: Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson chips to the 17th green as his caddie Jim Mackay watches during the first round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. (Photo: Getty Images)

First-round interview with the PGA Grand Slam foursome

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Michael Campbell talk about their first trip around Poipu Bay following Tuesday's first round. PGA of America Director of Communications and Media Relations Julius Mason was the moderator.

JULIUS MASON: We have Tiger Woods 67 ( 5), Phil Mickelson 70 ( 2), Michael Campbell 73 (+1), and Vijay Singh 75 ( 3). Vijay, let's talk about your experience out there today.

VIJAY SINGH: It was an experience. I played pretty good from tee to green except for one or two holes. I just missed a tee shot on No. 2, the only hole that you don't want to mis hit one, and I did. Tried to be too cute with the next one and knocked that one in the water, and then made a good 7 on the par 3.

Besides that, I hit two good shots on the next hole, came up short a little bit on my approach and made bogey. Played decent, didn't play great, but played decent and just hung in there.

Q. Vijay, being this far in 36 holes, is it difficult to overtake?

VIJAY SINGH: Well, I've got to play a great round tomorrow. Tiger is hitting the ball pretty good. He drove the ball beautifully today. And I've got to go out there and take advantage of the early nine, the front nine yields a lot of birdies.

So I need to go out there and see if I can get back within three or four, even less than that, and see what happens on the back nine. I don't know what the forecast is tomorrow, how windy it's going to be, but just come out here and play hard.

Q. With the different winds, how does it feel the last four holes? You're normally with the wind, but today and probably and tomorrow, it will be into the wind.

VIJAY SINGH: The harder holes are 15 and 16. 17, you need to hit a good tee shot, but the wind was much stronger when we started off and we were thinking that it was going to be a lot more windier. So it wasn't as bad as what we thought it was going to be.

Although, 18, you couldn't really reach it and the fairways are kind of long and a little kind of damp, so the ball sits down, you can get a lot of mud. We had mud on No. 18, don't have any chance of going for it. You know, it played tough, but it didn't play as hard as we thought it was going to be.

Although, Phil and Michael made great saves on 16. I think they made two greatthat hole was probably one of the hardest holes on the golf course today.

Q. Are you surprised how well Tiger did today?

VIJAY SINGH: Tiger just won in Japan. (Laughing). So it's no surprise he's going to play well. You know, maybe if he wasn't throwing up, he probably would have drove everything out there.

JULIUS MASON: And on the throw up note, we will thank Mr. Singh for joining us, and we will say hello to Mr. Woods.

Tiger, I think you have some explaining to do. How in the world you're able to come off the course at 5 under?

TIGER WOODS: I have no idea, either. I have no idea. It was very interesting starting out. Didn't feel all that good starting out, and bogeyed the first hole and by the time I teed off on the second hole, by the time I hit my second shot, I was a little bit lighter and a little more streamlined and lost weight. My abs got a good workout there in the bushes, and from there, I just tried to get it through and not try to put myself out of the tournament. By the sixth or seventh hole, my nausea went away and I just had some cramps, and that's something you just deal with. So I started letting it go and I started hitting the ball a lot better.

JULIUS MASON: Thanks. Can you go through your card real quick, birdies, bogeys?

TIGER WOODS: First hole, made bogey. Hit a drive and a 6 iron that went about four feet, five feet; then hit a 7 iron on the green and 2 putted for bogey.

Second hole, I hit a driver and a 9 iron and 2 putt from about 20 feet. Third hole, I hit a 5 iron about, oh, 18 feet left of the hole and 3 putted. 5, I hit a driver in the green side bunker, blasted out to about six feet and made that. 6, I hit a driver and a 3 wood just short of the green, pitched up there to about four feet and made that. 7, I hit a 5 iron right of the green in the gallery. I chipped up to about, oh, 15 feet short, missed it. 10, I hit a driver and a 60 degree sand wedge to about 15 feet and made it. 11, I hit a 5 iron to about 12 feet and made that.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: That was a good shot.

TIGER WOODS: Thank you.

15, I hit a driver and 6 iron to about 35 feet right of the hole and 2 putted. 18, I hit a driver and a 5 iron and a pitching wedge to about 12 feet again and made that.

JULIUS MASON: Very good memory on an empty stomach. If we can direct questions to Tiger, and then we'll go to Mr. Campbell.

Q. Was there any doubt on the range warming up that you would be able to go? You looked kind of weak and pale.

TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I asked Julius to give me at least the holes where all of the bathrooms were, so if I had to go. (Laughter). Because at the time, to be honest with you guys, I didn't know what was going to go out, the top or the bottom, so I had to know where the bathrooms were so I could somehow plan it out. (Laughing). Jules helped out a lot.

JULIUS MASON: This will be our first R Rated news conference. TIGER WOODS: But I got through it all right, so I was all right. Once I threw up on the back of the first green, I felt a lot better.

Q. On 14, I lipped a putt for eagle, can you talk about that feeling? TIGER WOODS: Yeah, I thought I made it. It was a little early walk there. Probably jinxed it and it lipped out on the low side.

Q. What about the hook around the tree, was thatit looked really difficult, can you talk about that?

TIGER WOODS: Actually, it wasn't that bad, because I had a good lie. If the lie wasn't very good, it would have been a more difficult shot, even though I was on the uphill slope in the rough, it was still sitting pretty clean, so I could get a club on it.

Q. I noticed you were down by three after four I think and you finished up by three. And you saved a couple ofyou saved a couple of pars, can you talk about that turnaround and it must be real good.

TIGER WOODS: I tried to hang in there and I just tried to get through some of my symptoms and that was it. If I could just somehow make a few pars and made an occasional birdie, I wouldn't get too far behind. Because the golf course was playing accessible, and also difficult, if you hit some bad shots.

I just had to do my best and somehow got the ship turned around and made a couple of putts there on 10 and 11 to really get things going.

JULIUS MASON: Tiger, thanks very much for coming in.

Mr. Campbell, welcome to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Some opening thoughts on your round today, please.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Obviously a little disappointed the way I finished with three bogeys last four holes. Being I think six shots behind the leader is pretty tough. It's one round to go tomorrow, but it's just a privilege to be here, really. I've been watching this the last 14 years on TV, it's nice to be a part of it now, a part of history. Vij obviously had a bad day as well.

Once again, tomorrow is a new day. It's the type of golf course where you can get a bit of a run going and it's a short golf course where you can make a few birdies out there. Hopefully tomorrow get going in the right direction.

JULIUS MASON: You mentioned watching it on TV quite a number of years; what did it feel like today out there, did anything surprise you?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Yeah, I actually watched the DVD, we played it in the hotel room, which is the history of this event. So I was watching that this morning to get me all keeved up and I was pretty excited. It was great to be part of it.

Q. You seem to be hittingthe first nine and part of the second nine, you were hitting the ball really straight and playing very steadily. It also seemed like you missed some early putts that you could have put you ahead, but then can you talk about what it was that in your opinion you started to go downhill a little bit?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I was a little frustrated. I hit it close to the par 5, 14, probably to four feet for the two upon the par 5 and missed that and got a little bit angry with myself, because it could have beenwould have put me one shot behind Tiger and Phil. So that was disappointing.

Then from there, and I think just frustration set in and I missed a putt on the next hole and missed a short one again on 18. I think it just mounted up, the frustration, on the last four or five holes.

But tomorrow is a new day. Missed a few putts earlier on in the round as well, I hit the ball great from tee to green today but the putts didn't quite go my way. It's really hard to read these greens I think sometimes with the grain, as well. I've played in Asia and different parts of Australia and which has grain, and I'm pretty good at reading grain but today for some reason, the ball didn't drop.

Q. On 16, you guys were both over the heyI hate to bring up the bad part, but it seemed kind of eerie that you both were over there looking for the ball and you found yours and Phil wasn't able to find his, but whatcan you talk about what happened there?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I tried to play the wrong shot. I tried to hit a low, hooky 3 wood. I was in between clubs, whether to hit a Raider, Heavenwood or 3 wood and I chose probably the wrong shaft at the wrong time. I overcooked it and put it in the goomby. But that's golf, you know.

Q. A little on the lighter side, I know you had the welcome dance yesterday and with your Polynesian background, do you feel at home here and welcome and can you feel the mana of Kauai?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: It's incredible. The support I've had today has just been unbelievable. I think as you said before, it's the Polynesian connection. 400 years ago my ancestors came down in a little canoe, or waca, from around these areas, around Fiji and landed in New Zealand in the 12th or 13th century, back in 1325, I think it was. Apparently that Maori people landed in New Zealand, so there is a connection here. When I see the Hawaiians, I can see there's a very similar look in the way we look and that sort of stuff. It's like home away from home, really, home away from home. It's nice to have this sort of feeling, or mana, from the people here.

Q. Had you been to Hawaii before?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: It's my first time. It's great to be here.

Q. Considering Tiger's been in bed for two days and he looked like he was going to pass out before the round, were you surprised at all at his round today?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Not at all. He's got the mind of obviously a wonderful champion, and he can switch off and switch on very, very quickly. So when he's over the golf ball, he gives 110%. Obviously the first couple of holes, he wasn't feeling too well. I knew, Vijay knew and Phil knew that once he gets over the stomach bug or whatever he's got, some sort of virus, he's going to come out and play well, and he did. He shot better on the back nine and played great the back nine. So he's a player that's obviously very confident and an amazing mind. So it didn't surprise me that he shot, what, 4 under today, 5 under.

JULIUS MASON: Michael, thank you very much for coming in. Rest well tonight.

Phil, not a bad day considering a six hour flight and a 30 minute warmup.

PHIL MICKELSON: No, I'll take it. I didn't expect to play that well, and didn't feel like I played that great, but I was able to shoot a couple under par, and I'll take it.

Q. You were 4 under for a while and right there tied and then a couple of bad things started happening. What was it that in your opinion that went wrong with your game at that time?

PHIL MICKELSON: I wouldn't say that anything went wrong. I just bogeyed two of probably the toughest holes on the course. 16 was a driver, 3 wood for me into the wind; and 17, I had to hit 4 wood and just didn't make pars on the holes.

So I wouldn't say that anything went wrong, per se. The downwind holes played pretty good, got it to 4 under, and then coming in was a lot tougher.

Q. I noticed Tiger, he was ill, can you talk about what you thought about him being able to shoot 5 under even though he was sick?

PHIL MICKELSON: There's an old saying, "beware of the ailing golfer." Whenever he's complaining, we know we're in trouble.

Q. You missed the Pro Am and kind of came in just before the tournament, if you had a second chance, or did it affect you at all, playing today, coming here late and traveling today?

PHIL MICKELSON: No. I think what affected it probably the most is not touching a club the last five weeks. That probably had a bigger impact.

What I try to do when I have not played is try not to do too much. I just try to get a good rhythm of the golf swing. My misses weren't too bad. I may have missed one or two a little bit off line, but for the most part, they were not that far off line and I was able to get around the course. When I haven't played, that's typically what I try to do.

Q. Are you looking for another 59?

PHIL MICKELSON: I can pretty much feel comfortable saying that that's not going to happen. Again, I'm going to go out tomorrow and just enjoy the day, enjoy playing with these three guys and try to hit some good shots, but my expectations aren't very high and they shouldn't be. I haven't been working at it and here Tiger just won a tournament Sunday. He's obviously on top of his game and I'm a bit rusty.

But what I'm really doing is looking forward to '06. I'm really looking forward to making '06 a great year again and hopefully getting myself back in this event, because it means you won a major championship. That's where kind of I'm directing my thoughts so much, more than just a couple of rounds.

Q. There's talk about moving this to Vegas or Florida, what do you think of that, do you love coming out here, is it kind of a hassle or do you like this course, would that affect you too much?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think it would impact me personally. I know that a lot of guys really enjoy coming out here. But I getliving in San Diego, it's a pretty easy flight for me and I end up coming to Hawaii probably three to four times a year with my family. So it's not I like a need a tournament to get out here and enjoy the islands.

Q. We love it, people that live here, and it's a big part of the year, so it's kind of sad if it does leave.

PHIL MICKELSON: But there's two really high quality golf tournaments in Hawaii already: The Mercedes, with all of the winners, and the Sony Open.

Q. A little question from the PGA Championship, on Monday, the chip that you hit on the 72nd hole, how tough was that? Was it a stock chip for you? Obviously under the circumstances it was a lot of pressure, but where would it rank in 1 to 10 and how difficult was it in your mind?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it could have been the easiest chip, and still wouldn't have been easy. It was the situation that made it tough. The ball was sitting down a little bit in the grass and I was able to go in and be aggressive with it because a little bit of an upslope to the pin and didn't fear the ball would take off by the hole. Obviously I was pretty excited when it came out and ended up where it did.

Q. Was there another shot during that round that kind of stood out that you felt was a key shot? People have talked about maybe the drive at 18, but was there another shot maybe that wasn't talked about that you felt good about?

PHIL MICKELSON: I think that what happened for me was on Monday when we came back and played, it was wet, it was playing longer, the wind was opposite than what it had been on Sunday, and the last three holes played very long. And 15 was by no means an easy hole. The biggest shot was not really one shot; it was three shots. It was three tee shots on 15, 17 and 18, hitting the fairway on all three, giving myself a chance to play aggressive and make birdies, as opposed to being defensive, having to wedge out and try to get up and down for par. I was able to attack and had a great birdie putt on 15, had a great birdie put on 17 that I thought I made, and ultimately had a chance to go at the green on 18 and almost got it upon but ended up making birdie.

Q. What's your first tournament in 2006? Will you be at Mercedes or will you start with the Hope?

PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not sure yet. I tend to play a lot starting in the Mainland because I've got strong ties with the West Coast, and I have the Ford Championship the first week when we move back to Florida. So I end up playing six or seven there but I haven't ruled out coming. I'm just not sure yet.

Q. You mentioned that you come and visit with your family; what do you love most about Kauai?

PHIL MICKELSON: Oh, I love how it is so relaxing and a great opportunity to do activities, to be with my kids and do activities that they love. There's so many great resorts here that have water slides or the beach or sand pools or swim up bars that you can get smoothies. There's just a lot of neat things to do at so many of the great resorts. Right here at the Hyatt, it's no different. We had a great time when we were here last year. The kids are in school, so we didn't take them out. It seals like it's just such a relaxing place. The weather is always so tropical and nice, and even when it rains, it feels good. I love the spas, too, there's some great spas and it's just a great place to unwind and spend time with my family and that's why we tend to come here quite a bit.

JULIUS MASON: "Brought to you by the Hawaii Visitors Council." Phil, thank you very much for coming in.

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