Round 3 Interview With:

Phil Mickelson

Saturday May 5, 2018

PHIL MICKELSON: I had a good day, but the course was a lot different with the overcast and it wasn't as dry and firm on the greens so you could get the ball reasonably close. But you still have to make a lot of putts. It's hard to hit it really close. So I made good 15-, 30-foot putts for some birdies that made the round.

Q. Right now you're leading the field in strokes gained third round (inaudible)?

PHIL MICKELSON: You know, they're very difficult to putt, the greens are, because they're so contoured by the hole that they're coming in side doors, and so the speed was important. My speed was off the first couple of days. It was much better today and so I was able to kind of feed them in.

Q. Phil, walked the first 36 with you this week and today you've made twice as much putts in one round than you did. Was it that simple today?

PHIL MICKELSON: No, it's not that it's simple, it's just that there was a little bit more moisture on the greens so you could just give them a little bit more pace and not have them run six, eight feet by, so you could hold the line a little bit better. My speed was much better. Balls are going to have to come in the side door on the greens here, and my speed was a lot better today than it was the first two.

Q. Did you have a number in mind when you went out this morning and found yourself back in the golf tournament, because you're obviously right back in this golf tournament?

PHIL MICKELSON: I didn't think there was a round lower than 4, 5 under out there and then Peter shoots 9 and I got it to 7. I just think that the different conditions where there was no wind and we had overcast, which just kept the course a little bit more -- or I guess less firm allowed for us to get it a little bit closer, make some birdies.

Q. Uihlein said that when he went out there, because he went out there so early, he really had nothing to base on just how conditions would be beyond the obvious. Where along the round did you say to yourself, boy, this is a day where you can really score?

PHIL MICKELSON: I really didn't say that. Again, I thought a good round would be 4, 5 under. Look, we had the tees up on a lot of holes. We hit a wedge into 17. All of a sudden it goes from one of the hardest pars to a potential birdie. It was set up for us to be able to make a move. There were 10 or 12 pins we could actually get to and get it reasonably close. The tees were up on a lot of holes. So if they set it up the way they can tomorrow, even par could be a great score. There's such varied scores in the setup, I guess, you just don't know what it's going to be.

Q. What in your swing was different today that helped you also play as well as you did?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't know what the difference was. I just felt very unfocused the first two days. I didn't feel like I was really committed to shots, I didn't feel like I was really great -- I didn't have great focus. I don't know how else to say it.

Today I came out, I felt way better on the range. I knew I was going to have a good day and I thought a good day would be 4, 5 under. I made an eagle on No. 10 and that really kind of propelled the rest of the round.

Q. (No microphone.)

PHIL MICKELSON: Not as much, no, because, again, I think the overcast conditions has kept a little moisture in them. We hit a shot into No. 13, that par 3 there, that pin's up on that knoll and it made a pretty big divot. I didn't expect that. And balls there the first two days were taking huge bounces, yet it stayed within six feet of the divot, which is totally different the first two days.

Q. You mentioned the shorter yardage, is that really the difference (inaudible)?

PHIL MICKELSON: It's just a hard golf course. I mean, it's just a really hard golf course. A lot of the old holes that were birdie holes have been made into very difficult pars and it's just hard to get at it. But today we had the tees up on a lot of holes. We were hitting -- 13, the tee was way up and we had 8-iron in instead of 5 or 6.

Q. (No microphone.)

PHIL MICKELSON: I was thinking of 13, sorry. 4 was way up. We didn't even have a yardage up there from that tee box. It was just set up for scoring.

Q. Do you like the setup of today a little better?

PHIL MICKELSON: It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter. You just have to -- if you play well, today a good round will be in the mid 60s, and if you played well the first two days, it would be in the high 60s. You just need to play well and you'll pass the guys. So whatever the score is is irrelevant. I think the early rounds, the guys that didn't play well had an advantage today to go out a little early.

Q. Do you think the softness of the course is going to hold up for the guys in the afternoon?

PHIL MICKELSON: It seems like it. I hope not, but it seems like it.

Q. I was going to ask if you thought you might be able to stay in touch with the leaders, or are they going to do the same thing?

PHIL MICKELSON: I don't think they'll go real low, but I think that they could shoot 3, 4, 5 under par pretty easily. I think it will be within striking distance, but where I was just making the cut, it's a pretty good spot to be in.