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Golf Talk Live - Phil Mickelson Transcript Segment 1

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PHIL MICKELSON HAS BEEN HITTING GOLF BALLS SINCE HE WAS EIGHTEEN MONTHS OLD. HE'S STILL HITTING BALLS, TRYING TO PERFECT THE IMPERFECTABLE. HE HAS 18 PGA TOUR WINS, A BEAUTIFUL WIFE AND DAUGHTER AND HE PICKED THE

BALTIMORE RAVENS TO WIN THE SUPERBOWL BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED AT ODDS OF TWENTY-TWO TO ONE. MEET THE RIVERBOAT GAMBLER, PHIL MICKELSON, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.

(MUSIC)

PETER KESSLER
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF GOLF TALK LIVE.

IF YOU PUT THE CAREER OF PHIL MICKELSON ONTO A GRAPH EVERY TREND AND EVERY DATA POINT EVIDENCES THAT THE CONCLUSIONS DRAWN ARE HAPPY ONES

BECAUSE HE SIMPLY CONTINUES TO GET BETTER, AND WHEN A WORLD CLASS PLAYER TIGHTENS EVERY ASPECT OF HIS GAME, NO WIN, NO TOURNAMENT, NO CHAMPIONSHIP IS FAR FROM HIS GRASP, AND THERE'S VERY LITTLE PHIL MICKELSON HASN'T ACCOMPLISHED. HE WAS A FOUR TIME FIRST TEAM ALL AMERICAN. HE WON THE U.S. AMATEUR

IN 1990. HE WON THE 1991 NORTHERN TELECOM OPEN WHILE STILL AN AMATEUR. AS A PROFESSIONAL, PHIL WON TWICE IN 1993. ONCE IN '94 AND '95. FOUR TIMES IN '96, TWICE IN '97 AND'98. FOUR TIMES IN 2000 AND ONCE SO FAR IN 2001.

THAT'S 18 PGA TOUR WINS AND COUNTING, BEFORE HIS 31ST BIRTHDAY. NO ACTIVE PLAYERS EXCEPT CRENSHAW AND WOODS HAVE MORE. HE'S A THREE TIME RYDER CUPPER AND WILL PLAY FOR THE TEAM AGAIN IN 2001. HE'S A FOUR TIME PRESIDENT'S CUP PLAYER AND BEGINNING A CAREER AS A GOLF COURSE ARCHITECT.

PHIL'S MARRIED TO AMY, AND THEIR DAUGHTER AMANDA CELEBRATES HER BIRTHDAY JUST AFTER U.S. OPENS ARE COMPLETED. WHILE PHIL CELEBRATES HIS BIRTHDAY JUST BEFORE U.S. OPENS BEGIN.

PHIL WORKS WITH TEACHER RICK SMITH, DILIGENTLY, TO TIGHTEN THE SWING AND GAME FOR THE DEMANDS OF PROFESSIONAL MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS, WHICH ARE THE ONLY WINS MISSING FROM PHIL'S SPECTACULAR RESUME. HE'S A BETTER PUTTER NOW.

PARTICULARLY FROM LAGGING DISTANCE AND FROM INSIDE 12 FEET. FOR NICKLAUS HAS SAID, GREAT PLAYERS EVIDENCE THEMSELVES....AND PHIL MICKELSON IS A GREAT PLAYER,

FATHER,

HUSBAND, FRIEND AND SON, AND HE CONTINUES TO PUT THOSE DATA POINTS ON THE GRAPH. A GRAPH THAT SAYS HE'S GETTING BETTER AT EVERYTHING IN EVERY PART OF HIS LIFE, AND HE PROCEEDS WITH WORK ETHIC, WITH ENTHUSIASM, WITH INFECTIOUS ENERGY TO CONTINUE THE HAPPY TRENDS.

WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. MY GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO AND WELCOME TO OUR SHOW, THE SECOND BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, PHIL MICKELSON. GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

PHIL MICKELSON
THANK YOU, PETER.

PETER KESSLER
CONGRATULATIONS ON A GREAT WEEKEND.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL, THANK YOU. IT WAS, IT WAS AN ENJOYABLE TOURNAMENT.

PETER KESSLER
YESTERDAY'S WHY YOU PLAY ESSENTIALLY, RIGHT? I UNDERSTAND THERE'S 156 GUYS USUALLY IN A TOURNAMENT BUT, WHAT YOU'RE HOPING

IS, I THINK, NOT ONLY TO WIN BUT TO TEST YOURSELF, TO PROVE YOURSELF AND EITHER WIN OR LOOSE AND NOT BE 3 THROUGH 156.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL THAT'S TRUE AND I THINK THAT YESTERDAY WAS A, A, VERY GOOD WE... A GOOD DAY FOR ME BUT IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR ME BECAUSE I REALLY DIDN'T LOOSE THE TOURNAMENT YESTERDAY. I LOST THE TOURNAMENT EARLIER IN THE WEEK AND I LEARNED FROM THAT.

ON FRIDAY'S ROUND I SHOT 72 BUT I DID THAT WITH 7 BOGIES AND, AND THAT'S WHERE I REALLY GAVE THE TOURNAMENT AWAY AND I CAME OUT ON SATURDAY


MORNING AND HIT MY FIRST TEE SHOT OUT OF BOUNDS AND THE WAY I LOOK AT IS FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO COME BACK AND GET BACK IN CONTENTION, TO HAVE A CHANCE ON SUNDAY WHERE A LOW ROUND WOULD CATCH TIGER OR WHOEVER WAS LEADING AT THAT POINT

WAS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT, AND I DID, AND NOT ONLY DID I HAVE A CHANCE BUT I ULTIMATELY SHOT A LOW ROUND, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE LOW ENOUGH AND I OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T WIN AND TIGER MADE AN UNBELIEVABLE FINISH AND IT WAS A VERY EXCITING

TOURNAMENT AND IT WAS VERY FUN FOR ME TO BE A PART OF THAT EVEN THOUGH THE OUTCOME WASN'T WHAT I HAD INITIALLY HOPED.

PETER KESSLER
I THINK HE HAD FIVE HOLES IN THE TOURNAMENT OVER PAR AND I THINK YOU HAD 13 HOLES IN THE TOURNAMENT AT BOGIE OR WORSE. WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR INCONSISTENCY TO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GOLF TOURNAMENT THIS WEEKEND?

PHIL MICKELSON
SOME OF IT'S POOR DECISION MAKING, SOME OF IT WAS JUST POOR SHOTS. I WAS SLOPPY. I STARTED OUT WITH A COUPLE OF THREE PUTTS WHICH WAS NOT GOOD. I MADE A COUPLE OF MAYBE BAD

DECISIONS OFF THE TEE WHERE I WAS VERY AGGRESSIVE THIS WEEK, HITTING DRIVER ON JUST ABOUT EVERY HOLE, AND SO, I, I ATTRIBUTE IT TO A FEW THINGS, BUT A LOT OF IT WAS JUST POOR DECISION MAKING AND ULTIMATELY NOT REALLY

COMMITTING MYSELF TO SOME OF THE SHOTS THAT I DECIDED TO HIT BEFORE I STRUCK IT, MEANING, AS I'M STANDING OVER THE BALL I WASN'T TOTALLY COMMITTED TO THE SHOT, HAD SOME UNCERTAINTY AND MADE A BAD SWING.

PETER KESSLER
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 2000, BETWEEN YOU AND TIGER YOU'VE WON 15 TIMES ON THIS TOUR. YOU FIVE AND TIGER TEN, AND NOBODY ELSE REALLY EVEN CLOSE AND

HE HAS CLEARLY AND YOU HAVE CLEARLY BEGUN TO SEPARATE YOURSELVES FROM THE REST OF THE PACK. THOSE OF US WHO LOVE AND WATCH GOLF HAVE BEEN HOPING FOR A SNEAD HOGAN OR JONES HAGAN OR ARNIE

AND JACK KIND OF RIVALRY. DO YOU FEEL LIKE THAT YOU ARE NOW, AND THAT THERE'S EVERY REASON THAT YOU OUGHT TO CONTINUE TO BE ONE HALF OF THAT RIVALRY WITH TIGER?

PHIL MICKELSON
I DON'T THINK THAT IT'S REALLY MY POSITION TO SAY EITHER WAY. I THINK THAT THOSE RIVALRIES SEEM TO FORM ON THEIR OWN. I WOULD SAY THAT IT'S NOT FEASIBLE STATISTICALLY FOR ANYBODY

TO OVERCOME TIGER IN THE WORLD RANKING FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS BASED SOLELY ON WHAT HE DID LAST YEAR. THOSE POINTS WILL CONTINUE ON FOR TWO MORE YEARS, SO REALLY IF ANYBODY'S GOING TO OVERTAKE HIM IT'S GOT TO BE A TWO YEAR PLAN OF STEADY

CONSISTENT PLAY AND EXCELLING IN THE MAJORS AND SO IF ANYBODY'S GOING TO OVERTAKE HIM WHICH CERTAINLY I'M TRYING TO DO, IT HAS TO START THIS YEAR AND IT HAS TO START WITH THE MAJORS AS WELL AS EVERY OTHER EVENT.

PETER KESSLER
WHAT CAN HE DO THAT YOU CAN'T DO OR DON'T DO?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL THAT'S A, THAT'S A QUESTION THAT'S TOUGH TO ANSWER BECAUSE IN EACH PLAYER'S MIND WE LIKE TO FEEL AS THOUGH THERE'S NOTHING ANYBODY ELSE CAN DO BETTER. SO, YOU KNOW, I WOULD, I WOULD KIND OF BOW OUT FROM ANSWERING THAT.

PETER KESSLER
WE'VE GOT SOME TAPE OF TIGER'S ROUND YESTERDAY WHICH WE'RE ASSUMING YOU HAVEN'T SEEN VERY MUCH OF, AND WE'VE HIGHLIGHTED, PARTICULARLY, THE LITTLE SHOTS AS OPPOSED TO THE BIG ONES. AS WE ROLL THIS I WANT TO GET YOUR SENSE

OF WHAT YOU APPRECIATE AS A FRIEND OF HIS, AS A PIER OF HIS, AS A RIVAL OF HIS, AS AN OBSERVER, WHAT IT IS HE DOES THAT'S SO ATTRACTIVE IN TERMS OF GETTING THE MOMENT RIGHT TO HIT THE GREAT SHOT OR HIS ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO SINK PAR PUTTS, SO LET'S GO AHEAD AND TAKE A LOOK AT THAT, AND JUST GET YOUR TAKE ON EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THAT WE'RE WATCHING.

NOW HERE HE IS ON 7 FOR A PAR.

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL I'VE GOT TO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS A PRETTY CRITICAL PUTT FOR HIM BECAUSE IT WOULD TAKE SOME OF THE MOMENTUM AWAY THAT HE HAD JUST GAINED ON SIX, TAKING A, A THREE SHOT LEAD OVER SERGIO. THAT WAS A PRETTY IMPORTANT PUTT.

PETER KESSLER
AND A PAR AGAIN ON NUMBER EIGHT.

PHIL MICKELSON
MY GOODNESS. DOES HE EVER MISS?

PETER KESSLER
WAIT TILL YOU SEE SOME OF THESE (LAUGHS)

PHIL MICKELSON
I SAW THE ONE ON 14.

THE 52 (?)

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL SHOW IT TO YOU AGAIN, BECAUSE WE KNOW YOU LOVED IT SO MUCH, AND HERE HE IS ON THE VERY NEXT HOLE, ON NUMBER 9, SAVING PAR AGAIN.

PHIL MICKELSON
YEAH THIS ONE'S NOT, I CAN UNDERSTAND THIS. THIS IS A 6 FOOTER. HE'S PRETTY SOLID ON THESE. I HAVEN'T SEEN HIM MISS ONE SINCE '95.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)

AND IN HIS HEAD HE PROBABLY THINKS HE'S NEVER MISSED ONE.

PHIL MICKELSON
THOSE, THOSE ARE REALLY THE PUTTS THAT YOU HAVE TO MAKE IF YOU'RE GOING TO WIN TOURNAMENTS AND HIS SHORT GAME IS WAY UNDER RATED. THIS SHOT COULD HAVE VERY EASILY GONE IN. I ACTUALLY DID SEE THIS ONE AND HE MISSED IT IN A GOOD SPOT. HE, HE UH

HAD A WEDGE IN SO I WAS SURPRISED HE MISSED THE GREEN BUT THIS SHOT ALMOST WENT RIGHT HERE. HIS SHORT GAME IS UNDER RATED BECAUSE HIS LONG GAME IS SO, SO GOOD.

PETER KESSLER
HERE'S THE ONE WE KNEW YOU WANTED TO SEE

A SECOND TIME

PHIL MICKELSON
YEAH THIS IS JUST A REAL PRO HERE.

PETER KESSLER
THIS REMINDS ME A LITTLE BIT OF THE ANGLE AND THE PUTT YOU MADE ON 12 WHEN YOU MADE EAGLE WHEN YOU WON A FEW YEARS AGO

WITH A FINAL ROUND OF 65.

PHIL MICKELSON
THAT'S TRUE. I, YOU'RE RIGHT, I CAN'T COMPLAIN. THEY, THEY THOSE THINGS NEED TO HAPPEN IF YOU'RE GOING TO WIN AND, AND HE HAS, HE HAS BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG THAT HE HAS NOT HAD THE GOOD BREAKS BUT IT SEEMS LIKE HE HAD SOME GOOD BREAKS YESTERDAY WHICH YOU NEED TO WIN.

THIS WAS A NICE LITTLE TOUCH HERE.

PETER KESSLER
YOU DON'T APPRECIATE ON TV HOW DOWNHILL AND TOUGH THAT IS.

PHIL MICKELSON
IT WASN'T THAT TOUGH.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)
I'M NOT SAYING FOR YOU, I JUST MEAN GENERALLY SPEAKING FOR THE REST OF US.

PHIL MICKELSON
LET ME TELL YOU WHAT REALLY IMPRESSED ME ABOUT THIS SHOT HERE IS THAT HE HAD JUST MADE TWO POOR SWINGS WITH THE DRIVER. HE PUTS ALL THAT AWAY AND INSTEAD OF TRYING TO FIX THOSE SWINGS, HE TRIES TO HIT A GOOD SHOT HERE WHICH IS TOUGH TO DO.

MENTALLY HE'S THINKING POSITIVELY AS OPPOSED TO TRYING TO FIX A BAD SWING WHICH SO MANY AMATEURS SEEM TO DO. THIS WAS A VERY IMPRESSIVE SHOT HERE. AND, AND THIS PUTT WAS NOT THAT EASY.

EVERYBODY THAT HAD COME THROUGH EARLIER HAD LEFT IT SHORT AND LOW AND FOR HIM TO PLAY ENOUGH BREAK AND HIT IT AT, AT A GOOD ENOUGH SPEED WAS, IT WAS A HECK OF A PUTT.

PETER KESSLER
HOW HARD IS IT TOO KEEP YOUR FACE COMPOSED AT A MOMENT LIKE THIS WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'RE ON AIR?

PHIL MICKELSON
WELL THERE'S A CAMERA RIGHT IN MY FACE SO I'M NOT ABOUT TO SHOW TOO MUCH EMOTION, BUT I WASN'T OVERLY THRILLED TO SEE THAT GO IN

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGHS)

PHIL MICKELSON
BUT, I CERTAINLY COMMENDED THE WAY HE WON AND YOU KNOW TO BIRDIE THE LAST HOLE INTO THE WIND WAS A, IT WAS A TOUGH HOLE. I THOUGHT THAT PAR WOULD BE A TOUGH ENOUGH SCORE. FOR HIM TO BIRDIE AND WIN I GIVE HIM ALL THE CREDIT BECAUSE HE FINISHED IT OFF

AND NOT ONLY THAT, HE DID IT WHEN HE WASN'T FEELING COMFORTABLE OVER THE BALL AND THAT IS SOMETIMES THE HARDEST THING TO DO AS A PLAYER WHEN, YOU CAN FEEL YOUR GAME SLIPPING A LITTLE BIT. FOR HIM TO, TO BASICALLY SUCK IT UP AND BIRDIE 16 AND 18 AFTER THOSE DRIVES IS, IS IMPRESSIVE

BECAUSE YOU'RE DOING WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO GET THE JOB DONE AND THAT'S BASICALLY YOUR MINDSET. THAT WAS A, THAT WAS A GOOD FINISH THAT HE HAD.

PETER KESSLER
DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO SHAKE HANDS AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE GOLF TOURNAMENT?

PHIL MICKELSON
WE DID AND I CERTAINLY CONGRATULATED HIM ON HIS PLAY. IT WAS A, IT WAS A TOUGH ROUND AND HE, HE CERTAINLY FINISHED IT OFF NICE.

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL TAKE A LITTLE BREAK. WE'LL BE BACK TO LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR ROUND IN JUST A MOMENT.

(MUSIC)

(BREAK)

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