2001 US Open - Phil Mickelson Press Conference Transcript

By Golf Channel NewsroomJune 14, 2001, 4:00 pm
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I'm not disappointed in the round at all. It was very windy when I teed off and playing much more difficult than it seems to be right now. The wind has calmed down with this storm coming in. I think they'll have about an hour or so of calmer conditions before maybe the rain hits and they might have to leave the course. Golf course is playing nice, and it's a very good test, especially with a little bit of a breeze.
 
Q. 18 is a fair hole?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, it's fine. And we knew it would be.
 
Q. You switched clubs on 18, what did you end up hitting?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: I went from a 7 to 8-iron, and chased up the hill. I felt 7 would be a little hot. And I was trying to make 4 there as I will all four days. I was fortunate to be on the green, and I'm not disappointed with even par. I would have liked to shot under par today, but even par never hurts in the U.S. Open.
 
Q. Did you do well in the gameplan today and what would you like to do better?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: There's nothing really in particular that I did exceptionally well today or that I'm going to try to do different tomorrow. I've played well, and I've been playing well. I kept the ball in play and haven't made too many big mistakes. I've been able to feel very comfortable on the greens. I've been putting well. So I'm not looking to do anything different heading into the next few rounds.
 
Q. On No. 5, your second shot, was that a driver out of the rough?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: Yes.
 
Q. It was a good lie, you had a real good lie there?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: No, I had to go under the limbs and with the wind being left-to-right and the fairway sloping left-to-right I could not hold that fairway with any club. And so I was better off being in the rough up by the green than being in the rough 150 yards short.
 
Q. Can you describe 14 and 15, Phil, what happened there?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: 14 was just a miss club. I was trying to hit a 5-iron in the middle of the green, I hit it solid and misjudged the wind. It plugged right in the lip. And 15 was -- the one poor shot that I hit in that I knew I couldn't miss it right of the hole. And I tried to hook one back into the wind to avoid going too far left of the hole, and I hooked it, and didn't have a shot and made bogey. Not overly disappointed, though.
 
Q. Are there any birdies out there?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, you have to understand, the practice round, yes, I did make a lot of birdies, but that was primarily due to the fact that the pins were in the middle of the greens. Now that I'm hitting it mostly in the middle of the greens, my putts are longer. There are a number of birdies out there, however, there are a number of bogeys if you short side yourself. There are some pins that you really need to be careful of. But because the greens are receptive, you can come into those pins with a short iron and get the ball stopped and have a good opportunity with a well struck shot. But there's a lot at risk when you have a swirling wind.
 
Q. On No. 9, you were aggressive off the tee there, and I don't know what you had left in there.
 
PHIL MICKELSON: I had a gap wedge. I only had 88 yards. It wasn't a hard shot. The problem was the ball was sitting down in the Bermuda with the grain in, and I hit it heavy.
 
Q. 2, 12, 14, 18, those are holes that really give Southern Hills character. You parred them all. A couple of guys said if you par all those holes you are gaining shots on the field, do you agree with that?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, first, I didn't par 14, I made bogey there. But I parred the others. I don't know, I think that there are a bunch of holes where you try to make par, and there's a bunch of holes you try to make birdie. You were talking about the holes that you try to make par on. I actually think a harder hole is 13, because it's a par-5 that you can get a shot back on, but it's probably the toughest 4 out there.
 
Q. How much does your success at the Colonial help you this week?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, playing well at Colonial gives me confidence heading into this tournament, because the golf course is designed by the same individual, Perry Maxwell, the same type of bunkering, the same grass, the same greens, it's a very similar golf course, and I feel comfortable on this course, because I've been playing well at Colonial.
 
Q. (Inaudible.)
 
PHIL MICKELSON: It's a nice, solid round. It's certainly doable. I'd be surprised if that's low, though, at the end of the day.
 
Q. Your birdie at 5 and at 10?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: Birdie at 5.
 
Q. Yeah.
 
PHIL MICKELSON: I hit driver in the left rough, and I tried to cut a driver around the trees and rolled it short of the green about 40 yards and chipped up to 10 feet and made it. 10, I hit a 5-iron off the tee, just went through into the first cut and I hit a 9-iron to about three feet.
 
Q. On 9 and 18, you clubbed a shot on 9, are those greens -- those greens that improved from --
 
PHIL MICKELSON: They're fine. They really are. And they knew that on Monday or Tuesday, and they knew they were trying to slow them down and they did. The difficulty is because the pitch is so severe they had to slow them up and they're just a little bit slower than the other greens, so you have to adapt to it.
 
Q. Do you feel pretty good about getting in at even par with the weather up in the air, do you feel good about that?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I'm not ecstatic, and I'm not disappointed. Round 1 is over, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's round. Now because it was a morning tee time I felt it was my opportunity to shoot three or four under par. I didn't really do it. And maybe tomorrow if the wind -- and primarily that was due because the wind was so tough. It was a good 20-knot wind today. And tomorrow there's a chance it will be every bit as strong, and I will be very pleased with even par. If it dies down I think I can get a couple under.
 
Q. Was it windy from the first tee on, essentially?
 
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it was so windy, I think No. 1 was almost drivable, if guys hit driver they could almost reach it. It was 3-iron and only 120 yards left.
Getty Images

Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

Everything before that, however, was far from routine.



Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)


Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Getty Images

The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.