Phil Mickelson ready to compete in 23rd Phoenix Open

Thursday February 2nd, 2012
Phil Mickelson is coming off a missed cut at Torrey Pines.
Kohjiro Kinno / SI

Scottsdale, Ariz.— Phil Mickelson is gearing up for another Waste Management Phoenix Open. He’s playing in this event for the 23rd time, believe it or not. Mickelson stopped off to chat with the media after playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Here are some highlights of what he had to say:
 
On his pro-am pairing with Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith: “We had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed our time. Here’s a guy who’s extremely successful in everything that he does, whether it’s playing in the NFL or dancing. He’s great. I asked him some questions and he was very responsive.”
 
On his 39 wins and if he’s still motivated: “I just love to compete. I’m excited about this year. I don’t know what happened last week. My practice sessions have been really good. Bringing it from the practice range out on the golf course, that’s my challenge right now. My putting feels terrific.”
 
On his offer to redesign Torrey Pines for free: “Well, I tried to underbid everybody. It’s the most beautiful canvas out there and it has not been utilized properly. The first goal is to make it playable. It’s got to be playable for everybody—it’s a municipal golf course. Everybody has to go out and enjoy it.”
 
On his brother, Tim, being the Arizona State golf coach: “It’s great because it gets me back involved in the program, which I’ve wanted to do for some time. He’s on the road to building the team back to national prominence where it belongs.”
 
On the par-3 16th hole sandwiched between 15, a reachable par 5, and 17, a drivable par 4: “It’s a bit of a break. You have to view 15 as a very difficult par 4 and 17 as a very difficult par 3 because those are critical holes where you have to make birdies. So they’re a lot harder holes to make pars on than 16.”
 
On Kyle Stanley losing a three-shot lead on the final hole at Torrey Pines last week: “I didn’t see it. When I miss the cut, it’s not enjoyable for me to watch on the weekend. I kind of beat myself up so I try to let it go.”

 

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