Mickelson On Winged Foot, Furrowing


PHIL MICKELSON: Over at Winged Foot, it's tough. It's a very tough golf course. Obviously we know the USGA is going to make it difficult. The rough is thicker and deeper than I've seen it. But I really like the layered rough. In the past you were rewarded for missing a shot with a larger margin of error. If you could hit it into the people, you were much better off than missing the fairway by a yard. Now with the layered rough it's imperative that you keep it, if you do miss a fairway, just off the fairway, because that thick rough is so high that there were sometimes it would take two or three shots just to get it back to the fairway. We'll see a lot of doubles and triples out of that rough, especially given the fact that they're going to keep the people further away. That thick rough won't get trampled down.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: I can always reach the people. If you reach the people now you'll be in the trees and it will be much more difficult to get it back to the fairway, because you have to chip it over the chick rough and get it stopped in a narrow fairway under the trees.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: It wasn't like Carnoustie like it wrapped around and they hadn't cut it for 1 year. They've ^money it perfectly right across the top, probably six inches, just like they said. Very consistent. But the third cut is. But it was thicker than I've seen it. It looks like when the ball would go to the bottom, the grass would just grow over it. It was very difficult.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: Well, yeah, the guy who wins won't be hitting it there. He'll be hitting it in the short stuff or if he ^dismiss it in the shorter cut. However, that thick grass was all around the green, they didn't layer it around the green, the six inch rough around the green.

Q. Do you like it?

PHIL MICKELSON: Do I like it? I'm not in favor of it around the green as much, because it takes the short game out of play. But I think that if you miss it right or if you hit a number of greens you'll be okay.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah, oh, yeah.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: No, but I have a hard time seeing it being anymore difficult than Shinnecock in '04 on the weekend. And I think the USGA can make it as hard as they want. Winged Foot is such a good course that it won't require ridiculous things to keep par a good score. In looking at it now, I don't see how guys are going to shoot under par. Of course I say that every open, and every open guys are under par the first couple of rounds.

And on the furrowing...
Q. The sand traps, they're going to do something different for the first time here at this tournament, the raking. It's really going to be a penalty. What do you hear about that, what are your thoughts?

PHIL MICKELSON: It is a hazard and nothing says that the bunkers need to be immaculate. Bobby Jones, back in the 20s, I believe, played Oakmont when they were using those furrowed rakes, and he said that he didn't like it, because it took the skill out of the game. Now, it just depends how bad a lie. Is there a chance we can hit a shot out of it? Or is it going to be just ridiculous where you're lucky to get it on the green, and it takes the skill out of it? So it's a fine line between the two. But I don't mind making a bunker a hazard, because it is.


Well said. It's almost like...na!