Phil Mickelson Thursday NBC
Q. How was the red eye last night?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was good. I loved having an early tee time. I wish we didn't have the rain delay because it made for a little bit longer day, but the golf course is playing about as easy as it could and yet Merion is really fighting hard. We were having a hard time scoring low here. It's so demanding. It's such a great track. It's one of the best I've seen for a U.S. Open. And we had soft conditions and still we're all having a hard time getting under par.
Q. Let's get you out to the golf course and show you some of those highlights. You bogeyed your first hole, but here you are getting back to even.
PHIL MICKELSON: It was a little left‑to‑right. I actually hit L wedge and the tee was up. That was a big putt because I 3‑putted my first hole.
Q. You parred the next five and then birdie here at 1?
PHIL MICKELSON: That was tough one because it was quick. You can see that I tried to have it last as long as possible. And it just died in the lip. So I read that well and didn't hit a great second shot to give myself a great putt at it, but I was able to make it.
Q. You talk about par saves keeping the rounds together. How about this?
PHIL MICKELSON: It was critical. I was fortunate to have a decent lie and to have enough green where I could get the ball stopped and I hit a good shot.
Q. Third at six, just as good as that one there?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, I was actually trying to fly it further or farther and it came up short and was, it released down. I thought if I flew it closer to the hole, I might be able to stop it a little bit better but I left myself a nice uphill look at it.
Q. Bunker is never easy and that was excellent par save there. Your second at 7 to set up another birdie.
PHIL MICKELSON: This was my best shot of the day. It was a little 9‑iron. You can't go two yards long or you're going to have a hard par and I flew it exactly where I wanted to and it ended up with a tap in. That was a good one.
Q. Not a lot of people are going to birdie 9 this week and you did today.
PHIL MICKELSON: It's because I made a putt. It's not like I'm trying to get that ball close. I hit 5‑iron to the middle and it was uphill left‑to‑right. It was as good a putt from 30 feet as I could have. The odds aren't good, but it rolled in and felt great.
Q. How did you feel out there today, the way you prepared the last few days for this U.S. Open compared to some other first rounds at U.S. Opens the way you normally prepare?
PHIL MICKELSON: You never know what's going to happen the week of the tournament, so you've got to prepare for all elements prior. And when I was here for the few days beforehand the week before, I was able to get all the work done that I needed and then the last part heading into today's round was to get my game sharp, to get my touch, and to get my ball striking, to have that sharp. I didn't need any course prep. I knew how it was going to play with all four different winds. I knew what clubs I was going to hit off each tee. All that stuff already was decided.
So being able to be in nice weather on a great practice facility to get my game and my touch sharp was advantageous.
Q. 3‑under 67, we'll see you Friday, Phil. Thanks.
PHIL MICKELSON: Thanks, Steve.