The Presidents Cup interview: U.S. Team

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October 04, 2013

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thanks for joining us after your 4 and 3 victory today. Make a few brief opening comments and we'll go into questions. Phil, we'll start with you please.

PHIL MICKELSON: Yesterday we just felt a fraction off but today we were on, starting on hole 5, we played some of our best golf together. I was worried with the way Jason Day and Graham DeLaet birdied the first two holes, we were down but boy on 5, we just turned it on and played some of our best golf, shot 30 on the front nine and made a couple more birdies the back and it was really a fun match.

 KEEGAN BRADLEY: Reminded me of The Ryder Cup last year, just kind of getting excited and hitting a lot of great shots and feeding off each other and never allowing them to get a hole. If they were to beat us, they were going to have to make birdie or better, and we are very difficult to beat when we do that.

Q. Do you like that it's set up to make birdies? You typically like a tougher course setup, this being the team match play, is this the right way to go in?

PHIL MICKELSON:
Absolutely it is. I love it. People want to see birdies. We don't want to be playing defense; we want to be playing offense, and when you do that, you're winning holes because of great shots, not because of other's mistakes, and I think that's exactly the way it should be in these team events.

Q. Some of the Internationals were talking about the crowd being a little more boisterous after the rain delay, just wondered for either one of you what your reaction was to how it was after the rain delay and maybe what the cause of that was?

PHIL MICKELSON:
I didn't notice that to be the case, did you?

KEEGAN BRADLEY: I just noticed them cheering for the USA, but they were having a good time, that's for sure.

Q. I know you didn't want to play the evens, but talk about the par saves that you made at 3,4 and Keegan's second shot at 5.

PHIL MICKELSON:
The shot on 3 out of the bunker was probably harder than I made it look because of the lie. I hit a really good bunker shot but on the next hole I did not hit a very good bunker shot. I hit it eight feet by the hole and to see Keegan make that putt was a big momentum boost for us.

We would have been 2 down if it doesn't go in and I thought instead that that momentum boost really propelled us to the next stretch that we started on 5. I would be really worried about carrying the water with a hybrid. It was not even a consideration for him.

He hit the most beautiful hybrid dead straight, eight feet right of the pin, and it went to the back fringe and couldn't have been an easier 15 foot putt downhill that felt great to make that putt, and take advantage of the great shot he had just hit. That was a big momentum boost.

Jason Day had just knocked his third shot to a foot that we conceded that birdie to him, and so they ended up losing a hole to birdie; that's always tough to take. But it feels good to do.

Q. How did you feel after the rain delay and do you anticipate playing both sessions tomorrow?

PHIL MICKELSON:
I felt much better today. I spent a little time with Tom LaFountain who I work with to maintain back health. He stretched me out and I went back out and I hit balls and felt fabulous. That was one of the things that I did differently and when we went back out, I had a great session, too.

And it also clicked on the range for me before we went back out. I had Bones take a few pictures of me swinging this morning and I was looking at him and I picked up a couple things or picked up a subtle thing I wanted to change and when I started hitting balls, it clicked. I started hitting it good. Because of that, I would anticipate playing both sessions tomorrow, given that only four people get to sit, only two in the morning, and two in the afternoon, and eight people have to go the whole time. I feel like Keegan and I have some pretty good energy and pretty good play right now, and I think we want to keep it going.

Q. Have you guys ever experienced anything like that in alternate shot on that front nine? You had a putt for 29 on the ninth hole. Did you guys both feel like you were both in the zone at the same time and what was that like?

KEEGAN BRADLEY:
I just think that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate shot, we complement each other so well. And I was saying that I think that we both really enjoy kind of showing off in front of each other. And it's fun to hit, you know, a 270 yard hybrid to eight feet. It's fun, whenever Phil is off the green, I half expect him to chip it in every time, he seems to come close. I just think alternate shot, we are having so much fun and we are really energized to play good golf. And after losing yesterday's match, our first match, we've lost together we were both pretty devastated. It felt horrible. So we were ready to go out and win this match today and we played really well.

Q. When you had the putt to go ahead inaudible it made the pace of play is that something you did deliberately to speed Jason and the boys up or just an anomaly?

PHIL MICKELSON:
I'm 43. I don't need to walk an additional 150 yards back and 150 yards up. I'm about preserving energy (laughter). There was no need for me to go back, but also, we're the first group. I don't want to hold up the entire competition that's the only thing I would ask of whoever plays first is that, don't make the group behind you wait. Now, that's we played plenty fast. We didn't hold anybody up. But we played at a nice pace. We didn't race around. We just played at a nice pace. At those moments, there's no need to go all the way back.

Q. Trying to beat the clock today and get in before sunset, does that add to the excitement? I know you're a football fan; is it a little like a two minute warning to try to get the round in?

PHIL MICKELSON:
That actually didn't cross my mind that we might not. We were the first group so we figured that we were going to get done either way. So it didn't make any difference. It is nice now that we're done though, being able to have a little extra time in the morning while the others go out and play to warm up, relax, have breakfast, sleep in, whatever you want to do.

Q. You guys played so beautifully together last year at Medinah, have you ever kicked yourself for sitting out a session as it turned out?

PHIL MICKELSON:
No, that didn't affect us in that match, anyways, because we would have gone off second and we would have replaced Bubba and I think Webb, who ended up playing second, and they ended up winning their match, so it wouldn't have mattered either way.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thank you.

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