Golf Talk Live - Phil Mickelson Transcript Segment 2

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 19, 2001, 5:00 pm
PETER KESSLER
YOUR WHOLE LIFE YOU'VE HAD EVERY REASON TO THINK THAT YOU WERE GOING TO BE NUMBER ONE BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE THAT YOU, EXPERIENCES THAT YOU HAD, SUCCESSFUL, UNBROKEN SERIES OF ON COURSE EXPERIENCES,

WINNING THE U.S. AMATEUR, WINNING THE PGA TOUR EVENT AS AN AMATEUR. GETTING READY AND THINKING IN YOUR HEAD, CLEARLY, RIGHT IN THE CENTER, RIGHT UP FRONT, SOMEDAY, IF I KEEP

DOING WHAT I'M DOING, I'M GOING TO BE NUMBER ONE. NOW, HE'S NUMBER ONE AND YOU'RE NUMBER TWO, AND MOVING FORWARD. HOW MUCH PLAY DOES THAT GET IN YOUR HEAD?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL THE WAY I LOOK AT IT IS LOOKING BACK, I WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL IN THE JUNIOR RANKS AND I WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL IN COLLEGIATE RANKS WINNING PLAYER OF THE YEAR THREE TIMES IN EACH AND THE REASON THAT I WAS SUCCESSFUL THERE WAS THAT I GOT BY ON FEEL. I HAD GREAT HAND EYE COORDINATION AND GREAT TOUCH AROUND THE GREENS AND I WAS ABLE TO

GET BY WITH LESS THAN SOUND MECHANICS AND AS I GOT INTO THE PROFESSIONAL RANKS, THE MISSES BECAME MORE PENALIZING AND MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO OVERCOME AND GET

UP AND DOWN. IT'S MUCH MORE DIFFICULT SAVING PAR AROUND THE GREENS OF A TOUR EVENT THAN A COLLEGE OR A JUNIOR TOURNAMENT BECAUSE THE GREENS ARE SO MUCH FIRM, FIRMER, SO MUCH FASTER AND THE

ROUGH SO MUCH DEEPER SO THE SHORT GAME TO ME IS MINIMIZED I THINK. SO WHAT I FOUND IS THAT WHEN I TURNED PRO AND MY FUNDAMENTALS WEREN'T QUITE AS SOUND I WAS MAKING TOO MANY MISTAKES AND UNTIL I STARTED WORKING WITH RICK SMITH ABOUT A

YEAR AND A HALF AGO, I DID NOT HAVE AS SOLID A BASE, MEANING MY LOWER BODY WASN'T SOLID ENOUGH AND MY SWING WAS NOT TECHNICALLY SOUND ENOUGH TO BE CONSISTENT WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT, AND OBVIOUSLY IF I'M GOING TO COMPETE AND TRY TO BE, COMPETE

WITH TIGER TO BE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD I NEED TO BE FUNDAMENTALLY SOUND TO BE ABLE TO COMPETE WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT AND WHEN TIGER CAME OUT, HE'S HAD SOUND
FUNDAMENTALS FROM DAY ONE AND SO

EVERYTHING THAT HE DOES NOW IS FINE TUNEMENT. ALL THE FEEL THAT HE HAS IS REPEATABLE DAY IN AND DAY OUT, WHERE AS THAT WASN'T THE CASE FOR ME. I WOULD HAVE WILD SWINGS ONE

WAY OR THE OTHER AND HUGE MISSES AND NOW I FEEL LIKE I'M GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE FUNDAMENTALLY I'M SOUND AND NOW THE FEEL AND THE TOUCH THAT I HAVE IS STARTING TO BE ABLE TO TAKE OVER.

PETER KESSLER
JOHNNY MILLER SAID YESTERDAY AS YOU WERE STANDING ON THE 18TH TEE, TO THE AUDIENCE WATCHING ON NBC THAT HE THOUGHT IT WAS THE BEST ROUND, THE BEST MOST IMPORTANT ROUND UP TO THAT POINT OF YOUR CAREER. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?

PHIL MICKELSON
I DON'T KNOW IF I DO. IT CERTAINLY COULD BE TRUE. I, I WOULDN'T DISAGREE WITH IT, BUT I WOULD, I WOULD THINK THAT THE FINAL ROUND OF THE '99 U.S. OPEN WAS, WAS A GOOD ROUND EVEN THOUGH AGAIN I DIDN'T WIN THERE AND THERE, I THOUGHT THAT THE FINAL ROUND OF THE TUCSON OPEN IN '91 WAS

A GOOD ROUND. IT'S REALLY HARD TO PUT THOSE IN PERSPECTIVE BUT I FELT LIKE I PLAYED A SOLID ROUND UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS YESTERDAY, WITH THE OUTCOME LESS THAN DESIRABLE.

PETER KESSLER
LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM YOUR ROUND SINCE THERE WEREN'T REALLY ANY LOW LIGHTS ON YOUR, ON YOUR SCORECARD. LET'S GO AHEAD AND TAKE A LOOK.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU SEE, WHEN YOU SEE YOU DOING THIS?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL, THAT WAS THE FIRST BIRDIE THERE ON NUMBER FIVE AND I DID NOT BIRDIE FOUR OF THE PAR 5 AND THAT, THAT HURT SO TO GET THAT ONE BACK WAS HELPFUL. I DID NOT BIRDIE 6, AGAIN, BUT I CAME BACK ON 7 AND MADE A GOOD PUTT HERE FROM JUST OFF THE FRINGE FOR A

BIRDIE SO I FELT LIKE I GAVE TWO BACK BUT I GOT TWO UNEXPECTEDLY. I TURNED IN TWO UNDER AND, AND WAS ONE OR TWO BACK AT THE TIME WHEN I MADE THE TURN.

THIS WAS THE 11TH HERE. THIS WAS A 6 IRON. THIS WAS ACTUALLY A REALLY GOOD SHOT. I HAD JUST KNOCKED ONE IN THE WATER YESTERDAY WITH A PATHETIC SWING. HERE, I, I MADE AN AGGRESSIVE SWING, ATTACKED THE PIN INTO THE WIND AND ENDED UP ABOUT FOUR FEET.

PETER KESSLER
AND THAT WAS A PRETTY STRUCTURALLY SOUND SWING TOO. THAT WAS THE NEW PHIL MOVE WASN'T IT, REALLY?

PHIL MICKELSON
I THINK SO. IF YOU LOOK AT MY LOWER BODY THERE'S NOT NEARLY AS MUCH MOVEMENT. THE SWING'S MUCH MORE ON PLANE. THIS IS A PRETTY EASY PUTT RIGHT CENTER AND IT WAS ONLY FOUR OR FIVE FEET.

PETER KESSLER
BUT THERE'S... THE PUTTING STROKE, THE PATH, THE FACE, PRETTY PURE.

PHIL MICKELSON
IT'S GETTING TO BE MORE CONSISTENT. THANK YOU. THIS WAS A TOUGH PUTT HERE AND I HIT A POOR THIRD SHOT TO THIS PAR 5 AND I'D ALREADY NOT BIRDIED THE FIRST TWO SO THIS WAS A PRETTY

IMPORTANT PUTT. IT SLIDES AWAY GOING TO MY LEFT EARLY AND THEN IT COMES BACK TO THE RIGHT AND THIS WAS A VERY SIMILAR PUTT. A DOUBLE BREAKING PUTT THAT I MADE IN '97 FOR EAGLE WHEN I WON THAT TOURNAMENT, SO THAT KIND OF GAVE ME THOUGHTS LIKE I MIGHT DO SOMETHING HERE. THIS WAS A GOOD PAR SAVE AFTER NOT A GREAT TEE SHOT.

AND THEN THIS ONE WAS A PRETTY STRAIGHT PUTT AND IT WAS DUE TO THE TO THE DRIVER OFF THE TEE. I HAD A LITTLE 'L' WEDGE IN. HIT A GOOD SHOT AND HAD ABOUT A 12 FOOTER HERE FOR BIRDIE.

PETER KESSLER
MILLER SAID WHEN YOU HIT THAT DRIVE THAT YOU'RE THE BIGGEST GAMBLER ON TOUR AND IT WASN'T CLEAR WHETHER HE MEANT ON THINGS OR ON THE GOLF COURSE.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL, I THINK THAT GAMBLING ON THE GOLF COURSE IS A FORM OF COMPETITION JUST LIKE YOU PAY YOUR ENTRY FEE. YOU'RE PUTTING UP MONEY TO TRY TO WIN MONEY AND I DON'T LOOK IT AS GAMBLING PER SAY AS I DO COMPETITION.

THIS WAS A SIX IRON HERE ON 15. I MADE A GOOD SWING BUT I EXPECTED IT TO COME OUT A LITTLE HOTTER OUT OF THE ROUGH AND YOU COULD EVEN SEE IT CHECK UP THERE WHICH I DIDN'T EXPECT.
SO I HAD A TOUGH TWO PUTT BUT I HIT A GOOD LAG PUT AND MADE BIRDIE.

PETER KESSLER
YEAH WE'LL SEE A SLOW MO OF THIS

IN A SECOND.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT, THIS WAS NOT NECESSARILY AS BAD A SWING AS IT LOOKED AND THE REASON WHY WAS IT WAS MORE A POOR DECISION AT THE START. I TRIED TO CHANGE THE

TRAJECTORY. I HAD BEEN DRIVING THE BALL VERY WELL ALL, ALL DAY HITTING JUST NICE HIGH DRIVES DOWN THE MIDDLE AND I TRIED TO HIT A LOW SCOOTER. I DIDN'T WANT IT

TO GET UP IN THE AIR. IT WAS INTO THE WIND AND YOU CAN SEE THAT I COME OVER THE TOP OF THE PLANE. THAT SWING PLANE YOU SAW GOING BACK I COME OVER IT A LITTLE BIT AND JUST PULL IT. THE BALL DIDN'T HOOK. I JUST STRAIGHT PULLED IT. IT WAS A STRAIGHT PULL. THE BALL WENT DEAD STRAIGHT, BUT WELL RIGHT OF THE LINE, AND I WAS JUST TRYING TO HIT A LOW SCOOTER.

IT WAS A POOR DECISION. I SHOULD HAVE JUST HIT A, A THE SWING AND THE DRIVE THAT I HAD BEEN MAKING ALL DAY AND SO I LEFT MYSELF THIS WONDERFUL

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHING)

PHIL MICKELSON
THIRD INTO THE 18TH GREEN, TRYING TO STAY EVEN WITH TIGER AND I HIT A 'L' WEDGE FROM 82 YARDS AND

JUST TRYING TO GET IT CLOSE.

PETER KESSLER
TRY TO TRUST YOURSELF SWING (?)?

PHIL MICKELSON
IT WAS, THAT WAS A SWING THAT I HAD BEEN WORKING ON ALL YEAR. MY SHORT IRONS AND WEDGE PLAY FROM A HUNDRED YARDS IN AND FOR, TO PULL THAT SHOT OFF WAS BASICALLY JUST

TRUSTING WHAT I HAD BEEN WORKING ON. IT WASN'T A GREAT LIE. IT WAS A TOUGH LITTLE PIN TO GET TO AND JUST TRUSTING THE FACT THAT I HAD WORKED ON THIS IN THE PAST GAVE ME THE CONFIDENCE TO HIT THE SHOT.

PETER KESSLER
EVEN YOU WERE IMPRESSED AFTER YOU HIT THAT ONE.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL AT THE END THERE I THOUGHT IT MIGHT GO IN. I WASN'T TRYING TO MAKE IT, CERTAINLY, BUT AS I SAW IT GO BY THE HOLE I THOUGHT IT HAD A CHANCE TO DROP.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL TAKE A BREAK AND WE'LL PICK THIS UP IN JUST A MOMENT. DON'T GO AWAY. SOME CAREER HIGHLIGHTS AS WE LEAVE YOU.

(MUSIC CONTINUES)

(WRITTEN TEXT)
PHIL MICKELSON
SELECTED CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS:
- ALONG WITH JACK NICKLAUS AND TIGER WOODS, THE ONLY PLAYERS TO WIN THE U.S. AMATEUR AND NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE SAME YEAR.
- LAST PLAYER TO WIN A PGA TOUR EVENT AS AN AMATEUR ('91 N. TELECOM)
- ONLY ACTIVE PGA TOUR PLAYER UNDER AGE 40 WITH AT LEAST 5 MULTIPLE WIN SEASONS. TIGER HAS 4.

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 25, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


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Hahn jabs USGA over possible ball rollback

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 4:43 pm

As debate continues to heat up over possible sweeping changes to the golf ball amid distance concerns, PGA Tour pro James Hahn chimed in to question the merits of a potential rollback.

The ball and distance debate gained traction earlier this week when Jack Nicklaus offered that the ball should be rolled back to the approximate distances achieved in 1995, and he put blame for the current situation squarely at the feet of Titleist. That drew a response from former Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein, who put the onus back on the governing bodies.

It's an issue that will likely be discussed for months to come, but Hahn took to Twitter to throw a jab toward the USGA and play devil's advocate on some key arguments related to a possible rollback:

Hahn, who has two career PGA Tour wins and lost in a playoff last month at the Sony Open, ranks 55th on Tour this season in driving distance with an average of 301.2 yards off the tee.

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Na fires back over slow play criticism from cricketer

By Will GrayFebruary 25, 2018, 4:00 pm

Kevin Na fired back over recent criticism he received about his purported slow play at last week's Genesis Open.

Kevin Pietersen is a retired English cricketer with more than 3.6 million followers on Twitter. He tweeted a video of Na, known as one of the slower players on the PGA Tour, taking more than a minute to line up and hit what he described as a "Tap In" during the final round at Riviera:

He then added another video of himself on a green in Dubai, where he again called out Na and showed how long he believed it should take for a player to brush in a short putt:

Na has faced his fair share of slow play criticism, but this time he decided to defend himself. Na isn't on Twitter, but he took to Instagram to tell Pietersen to "stick to your own sport," pointing out both the length of the putt in question and the stakes that were involved during the final round, when Na went on to tie for second behind Bubba Watson:

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Pepperell wins his first European Tour title in Qatar

By Associated PressFebruary 25, 2018, 3:31 pm

DOHA, Qatar - Eddie Pepperell survived a tense finish to win the Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club on Sunday for his maiden European Tour title.

The 27-year-old Englishman held off a spirited challenge from compatriot Oliver Fisher, who needed a third successive birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff, but had his putt from six feet slip past the hole for a par.

Pepperell shot a 2-under-par 70 for a four-day tally of 18 under 270, while Fisher, who started the day tied for the lead, could only manage a 71.

Sweden's Marcus Kinhult (68) finished third at 16-under.

The No. 154-ranked Pepperell made things difficult for himself with a bogey on the 15th hole, but hit a superb wedge to three feet on the next to get back to 18 under again.

Fisher, who appeared to have fallen out of contention with three bogeys starting on the third hole, stormed back with birdies on the 14th, 16th and 17th holes.

On the last, Pepperell laid up with his second into the thick rough, made wet and unwieldy by rain in the Qatar capital, but found the green in three and two-putted for the win when Fisher missed his birdie putt.


Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


''I did the things I needed to do, I didn't play fantastic but I won ugly and for the first win to be ugly is good. Hopefully, I'll have some prettier ones in the future,'' said Pepperell.

''I knew I was playing well, especially tee to green, so I expected a lot of myself this week and I guess to pull it off is amazing. When Oli birdied the 17th, that was when it really caught up with me that I was only one ahead. I was in my own zone, I knew I had a couple of shots of lead but Oli did great. It was a tough front nine for him and I had to stay right in my own way and out of the two guys' way because they were struggling a bit and it's sometimes easy to get dragged into that.''

Fisher was disappointed, but saw the silver lining in the way he fought back.

''It went all the way to the last hole which, after my front nine, was what I was hoping for on the back nine,'' said Fisher, who won the 2011 Czech Open, but recorded his first top-three finish since the 2014 Africa Open.

''I hit a lot of good shots coming down the back nine and gave myself a lot of good chances, but there were just too many bogeys today, four in total, so you're never going to win a tournament making that many mistakes on a Sunday. But at least I pressed him all the way.''

Italian Renato Paratore (66) had the low round of the day and finished tied for fourth place at 15 under par, where he was joined by the Spanish pair of Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Pablo Larrazabal along with Gregory Havret of France.