2014 PGA Championship Round 4 interview with: PHIL MICKELSON

Q. How would you characterize the decision to let them hit the second shots – inaudible.

PHIL MICKELSON: It's not a big deal either way, they have a chance to finish it was no big deal (inaudible).

Q. How do you characterize the finish and this day?

PHIL MICKELSON: I bogeyed 16 and that was a costly bogey in the end. It was a fun day for me to get in the mix and fun day for me to make some birdies and move up early so that I had a good chance on the back nine. I'm disappointed in the outcome. I thought that had I been able to finish those last, five, six holes strong, could have totally flipped the way I look at this year.

But now I've got some regrouping to do these next three for four months. I have some glaring areas in my game that I have to work on, and I feel like if I'm able to continue to be strong and healthy and sharp in these areas of my game, I should have four or five good years that I really want to focus in on, and these next three or four months will be critical for me making sure that I address the issues and that I'm ready to go in 2015.

Q.  What are some of the glaring issues?

PHIL MICKELSON: Driving, short irons were terrible this year as a whole.  It's usually a strength and I've got to get that back. Perfect example is the wedge shot on 4. That's right up my alley. I'm trying to hole that half the time and I'm hitting it 18 feet. It was a pathetic shot that when I could have put some pressure on with a birdie, should have knocked it inside four or five feet, no problem, and I hit a terrible shot.

Things like that have been happening this year. I can't let that happen anymore.

Q.  The chip was really close.

PHIL MICKELSON: On 18, yes, I thought I had a good chance. It was right in line and then it just broke off at the end. You know, gave it a good chance, but that's not the opportunity on 18 that I'm looking for. I don't like being two back having to hole a shot. I need to be close. That bogey on 16 hurt.

Q. The stall in the momentum on the back nine  

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know. After the good par putt on 12, I had a good chance on 13. Didn't hit a great putt. Hit a good shot on 14; didn't hit a great putt.

Hit a good putt on 15. Thought that might go in. It just fell off low. And I needed to get the ball in the fairway on 16, and wasn't able to do it and I needed to get it in the fairway on 17 and wasn't able to do it. Those two tee shots hurt. Those are the things I've got to address. I've got to, I don't mind being wild, but when you've got to get in the fairway, you've got to be able to do it.

Q.  You've played alongside Tiger at his best, and now Rory, how good is he right now in the world of golf?

PHIL MICKELSON: Better than everyone else right now. Yeah, he's good. Really good.

Q. Your thoughts on the course and the crowd out there? This course always produces drama.

PHIL MICKELSON: It's a great place to play golf here, it really is. The crowds in 2008 at The Ryder Cup were something I'll always remember. They were the same in the three PGA Championships we've played here. I'm sure The PGA of America will come back here. It's such a great place to host the event, wonderful course.  If it had been firmer and faster without the rain, it would have been a spectacular test. It's so beautiful and rewards great play; it's fun to play here and the people are terrific.

Q. The shot on 16  

PHIL MICKELSON: I botched it. I flew it way too far. I mean, I was just trying to fly it halfway from the front edge to the pin and let it release, and it just came out fast. I thought it was going to come out a little slower. Came out fast. It had a chance. I needed a lucky break there. If it one hops in like it might almost did, it caught the lip, it would have been a two shot swing.

Q. At this point in your career maybe versus the context of the season, what satisfaction do you take in contending but not winning?

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's good for me to get back in the thick of it; to get back in contention, to compete in big tournaments. And it's just fun. It's just fun.

But I know that regardless of how I played this week, I know that I've got to address some things these next three or four months, and I think that the next four or five years, I really want to make special, and then we'll see.

I feel like I'm a lot closer to great play than what this year showed, and this is just a little glimpse of what I feel I can do and I'll see if I can work on it some more.

But I'm optimistic that I'll be able to address these issues.

Q. You didn't win, but is this maybe one of the most fun tournaments?

PHIL MICKELSON: It was fun having a chance. It was fun playing with Rickie that final group. It was fun making some birdies early to get up on top of that leaderboard and be on top starting the back nine. That was really fun.

And between Rickie and I, we kept going back and forth birdieing holes; that our best ball score was pretty darned good, and we had a lot of fun playing together.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports ...