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2013 PGA Championship Thursday Interview Transcript: Phil Mickelson

PHIL MICKELSON:  You need to get off to a good start that first round so you're not playing catch up all the time, which is why I've been successful the last two Open Championships, I played good first two rounds and didn't have to press the issue.  Now I've got to come out hot tomorrow and get a little more aggressive and attack and try to shoot something in the mid to low 60s to get back in it for the weekend. 

Q.  Feel more comfortable after working with Butch [Harmon after the first round]?

PHIL MICKELSON:  Yeah, I was working on the exact opposite thing that we needed to do, and I'm glad I had a few minutes with him, because I wanted to be able to think about what it is I'm going to be doing tomorrow tonight, as opposed to trying to find it in the morning.

Q.  As you look back on this round, maybe not your best start, but you did make a run when you came back out.  What was the difference in that early part of the round, as opposed to when you came back out? 

PHIL MICKELSON:  I just fought hard.  Even when I was making birdies, it didn't feel good.  I was just trying to fight and keep it in play.  I hit some good tee shots, but it didn't feel great and it's starting to feel a little bit better now.  We'll see how tomorrow goes.  Tomorrow will be the big day for me. 

Q.  Your second on 18, can you talk about your decision making and what you saw? 

PHIL MICKELSON:  Well, I would have to go backwards to get to the fairway.  I couldn't go straight outside.  I couldn't go forward.  So I had to pitch out backwards, which would have left me on a downhill lie with a 4 iron.  So I thought, the way I felt hitting the shot, 5 was going to be tough and 6 was going to be in play.  I was trying to get a 9 iron through the little gap so I would have a 100 yard shot left, and it hit a tree.  I was fighting for five from the start, and I ended up making a six.  So it's not like I lost too much. 

Q.  Was alignment an issue?  I saw you working with the sticks. 

PHIL MICKELSON:  No, it's more of a path and a release thing.

Q.  How rare is it for you to come to the range like this?

PHIL MICKELSON:  It's rare.  I don't do it very often.  I usually like to be ready, know what I'm working on.  And the first four holes was like a shock to my system hitting it out of bounds on 4.  Out of bounds is not even in play, hit that so far right.  And to make a double on a par 5, that's the only one we can get to that's a birdie hole, was awful. 

So I got off to a terrible start, and to get it back to around par    I was actually under par for a little while.  But that took a lot of fight, and fortunately, I'm in a position where if I hit a low round tomorrow, I can get back in it, but it could have really gotten away. 

Q.  Are you worried about your game? 

PHIL MICKELSON:  Not now.  I was. 

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