Phil Mickelson Press Conference Transcript
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, I was excited. I just came out and played disappointingly poor today. Actually, I felt pretty good striking the ball, but what happened was is I continued to miss putts and have it carry over into my iron play, because now I've started to press a little bit. I didn't feel comfortable knocking it 10 or 12 or 15 feet. I felt like I had to knock it in. Even the one on 18, I don't know how that one went in, to be honest with you. It just barely caught the lip. I thought I missed that one low, too. And it was really evident on 10 when I had a pretty basic 8-footer and it just wasn't even close. So I struggled today just trying to get the stroke and the alignment down a little bit, and it was -- on these greens where there is no margin for error as firm as they are, it was a tough day because of that. But, the way I look at it is I shot even par on a pretty tough course putting pretty poorly.
Q. Are you the type of guy that does not want to burn one this week, so to speak?
PHIL MICKELSON: No. That's not it. I'm going to go out tomorrow and try to shoot 8- or 9-under and see if I can win this tournament. Certainly, I'm not in the best of position. Eight or nine may not even be enough, but that's certainly what I will be trying to do tomorrow.
Q. What about the Masters --(inaudible)?
PHIL MICKELSON: That's the last thing on my mind now, to be honest.
Q. What's it like playing with Tiger?
PHIL MICKELSON: I just have a lot of respect for him, not just as a player, but as a person. I enjoy playing with him. I don't know what else to say. It's not like I really even watch him swing. I may have watched him swing once or twice. I just think that -- I like playing with the best. I don't want to -- I want to play with the best, I guess.
Q. A huge crowd following you guys --?
PHIL MICKELSON: You don't see it, though. You really don't. Big or little crowds, you just don't see it.
Q. You've been riding more of a roller coaster lately than normally, like yesterday a lot of birdies and a lot of bogeys?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, it has been a little up and down, with the only good round being the last round at Bay Hill where I was solid and didn't -- didn't really lose any concentration throughout the round. I had my bouts today, as I have every day. I don't know what to say, because I feel like I've been playing well. I feel like I'm just looking -- it seems like I'm looking ahead, as opposed to staying in the present. I just remember on Sunday's round at Bay Hill when I made a putt on 5 for birdie. It was my first birdie of the day, and I didn't feel like I was forced to make that putt. I missed birdieing the par 5, No. 4, and normally I would feel a little bit anxious to get one -- one birdie out of the way. I didn't really feel that. Here, if I'm not 6-under after three holes, I feel like I've got to push it. I've had a difficult time the last few -- couple of weeks, being patient. Today, I actually thought I did a really good job on that, in that my goal after being 2-over through three, and not feeling really good about where I was at with the wind -- it was windy, too, was to get even par at the turn and try to light it up in the back. And I ended up hitting a 3-iron 210 yards dead into the wind on No. 5 to within two feet, which I needed to because I was not going to make a putt, or I didn't feel like it and I got that one out of the way. Even the one on 9, it was about a 5- -- about a 6-footer, just kind of got on line. Started it; didn't start it on line, but it was going slow enough that it just caught the lip. I'm going to go work on it, though, because I've been putting well. That's what's disappointing.
Full Coverage of the Players Championship
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.
Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.
Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.
Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:
12/1: Dustin Johnson
16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose
20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm
25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods
30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed
40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton
50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick
60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson
80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele
100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.
Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.
Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.
There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.
There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.
Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.
John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.
Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.
Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.
“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”
Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.
“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”
But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.
“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”