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LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok 2022 - Phil Mickelson & Dustin Johnson press conference transcripts

posted Oct 6, 2022, 10:12 AM by siam coverage   [ updated Oct 6, 2022, 10:12 AM ]
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Thursday, 6 October, 2022

Bangkok, Thailand

Stonehill Golf Club

Phil Mickelson

Press Conference

Q. Can we please get your reaction to the news about LIV and how you feel about World Ranking points and what you think this means for LIV and the development of LIV?

PHIL MICKELSON: I think from a player standpoint, it feels great to have everyone at LIV fighting so hard for the players and their best interests.

I think for the World Golf Rankings, this is a great way to keep its credibility, while not bringing in politics into the decision-making process. I think it's good for all parties.

Q. (Inaudible.)

PHIL MICKELSON: The reason I'm not concerned is that the number of points are based on the quality of the field and not the organization that's running the tournament, and the quality of our field is remarkably strong, and I'm sure for the world golf rankings to maintain their credibility, they'll continue to award the proper number of points that the tournaments deserve for all tours.

Q. Are you surprised at all how it came together? Seemingly a fairly shrewd idea they came up with here to go through that tour.

PHIL MICKELSON: Given the many obstacles that we have had to face from those trying to stop it, I think it's a great way to do this in addition to adding in a developmental tour for the Asian Tour who will be our feeding tour going forward. So I think it's a win on all parts.

Q. Being your first time in Thailand, what's it like? Anything that stands out? Are you enjoying yourself?

PHIL MICKELSON: I'm very impressed with the quality of the food. I love the food. So I have to be careful. I am very impressed with the golf course. This is my first exposure, first time in Thailand, and the golf course is remarkable.

Obviously it's in incredible shape. I don't know if I've seen a golf course in this good a condition. But it's also a wonderful design, very fun to play, great risk-reward, and I'm very glad to see such world-class architecture, design and golf in other parts of the world and right here in Thailand.

Q. Now that you're with LIV Golf, how do you feel about the possibility down the road that LIV Golf will be played more here in Asia-Pacific? And the second part of the question, do you feel that Asia could potentially be one of the biggest fan bases for the team concept of LIV Golf, and do you look forward to that?

PHIL MICKELSON: So I do agree with you that the team concept is very well received in this part of the world here in southeast Asia. I've also noticed a strong interest and appreciation for LIV Golf coming here, and I've noticed that there are a lot of people flying in from other countries to be here and to be a part of this and watch.

I think that this area has wanted this level of professional golf for a long time, and now that it's here, I find everyone here is very appreciative.

The way that LIV Golf is being received here and welcomed and wanted in Thailand and other countries here in southeast Asia, I think that there's a very good chance we'll have more events here, and I think that's the strength of this organization is its ability to move throughout the world and bring golf at the highest level throughout the world, grow the interest in the game of golf throughout the world, and I would see that continuing to grow and develop even more here.

Q. You're coming off your best round at LIV Golf; how do you feel about your game, and how do you feel about the Hy Flyers with two events left before Miami?

PHIL MICKELSON: So my game has been starting to come around, and Chicago was a bit of a breakthrough for me where I was able to slow my mind down and let the game become easy again and start to hit good shots and not race, not jump ahead but stay present.

I expect that I'll be able to continue that and continue to play well here. I expect to have a good week. I love the golf course. Our team is positioned to make a move.

The way we look at it is we have two opportunities to get past Friday of Doral, so if we have to play in a match on Friday, we have to win the match to get to Saturday, or we can play really well these next two weeks, get into the top four amongst the teams and get a bye through Friday and only have to play Saturday. That's kind of the way we're looking at it; it's our first of two opportunities to make it to the weekend at Doral.

Q. You are going to be playing with Thai players on the first day. What is your feeling or your feedback about Thai players? You have been seeing them, especially TK?

PHIL MICKELSON: Yes, I think that Thailand has done really a great job of developing good young talented players, and you're starting to see those players prosper and play well throughout the world. From Prom Meesawat to Kiradech, and TK is of rare talent. He's going to be something special. We're seeing now the good young players from this country start to compete and show how good they are on the professional level.

Q. As a veteran, how do you feel you can influence the game of golf and the younger generations coming up in future?

PHIL MICKELSON: So I'm trying to do that now in the partnership with LIV and the ability to bring golf to other parts of the world other than the United States. I think that the growth opportunity in the game is more global now, and we're seeing the interest in other countries, and we're seeing the opportunities in other countries, and LIV Golf is in a great spot to capitalize on that and benefit from it, but also give to those communities and help develop the game in other countries.

Q. LIV is expected to travel to sing pour next year, and you've played in Singapore and have many fans there. Can I get your thoughts about coming back to Singapore?

PHIL MICKELSON: I really enjoyed the opportunity to play there. I thought Sentosa was a great golf course to host a world-class event, and I thought it was a very fascinating country. I think Lee Kuan Yew is one of the greatest leaders, and the way he started that country and developed it, I thought he's done some really great things where you don't have any natural resources, to create one of the greatest harbors, to have it be such a clean city and to create such wealth for all of their citizens. I think he requires 10 percent of every paycheck of your paycheck to go to your retirement account. I think that he set up rules that you have to own and operate a business for 10 years before you're able to get into politics. I think he's created a pathway of success for that country, and they've created a lot of wealth as well as a great quality of life for its citizens, and I've enjoyed the time that I've been there.

 

 

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Thursday, 6 October, 2022

Bangkok, Thailand

Stonehill Golf Club

Dustin Johnson

Press Conference

Q. I thought we'd throw at you the World Ranking news that came out last night. What do you make of that and also sort of the way they've gone about trying to get them?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, for me, I think we deserve them. I think obviously with the quality of players we have out here, the events we're having, we should have them.

I think it's fair. Obviously the way -- I think it's very smart and strategic the way they're going about it, but hopefully they make the right decision and give us World Ranking points.

Q. There's been a bit of talk from the players about trying to get the past five events, also the points reinstated on that. Is there any update on that?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I don't see that happening. Obviously, yeah, that would be nice. Obviously none of us are playing events where you get points so we kind of keep slowly moving down, where if the World Ranking points are supposed to be non-biased for golfers, we should. I don't see that happening, though, which is okay, but at least going forward, hopefully we'll have them, because like I said, it's supposed to be a fair and non-biased organization that is for golf, which is exactly what we're doing.

Hopefully, like I said, they'll make the right decision and give us World Ranking points.

Q. A lot of people have been describing this course as pure. How would you rate it? I'd be scared to take a divot.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: It is really nice. It's one of the nicest conditioned courses I've played on. It's a really good golf course. It's long. I think the greens are challenging.

I think it's a good test of golf, and obviously depending on the wind, especially if we get a bit of wind, it'll play difficult.

But yeah, the conditions are unbelievable.

Q. And the conditions and the weather, I suppose, would that be a little bit of concern about the stamina for the players and the hydration this week? It's pretty steamy out there.

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, it is warm. I live in South Florida, so I'm kind of used to it. It's not quite this humid there, but I don't mind the heat, and the ball goes further, so it's nice.

Q. Since Cam arrived, you've won one and he's won one. I realize there's 48 players in the field, but can you envision some type of mini rivalry with you and Cam, kind of like what they had in Formula 1 the last few years?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I'd love to battle it out every week with him on Sunday. It would be fantastic. That means I'm playing really well. But yeah, you're right, there's a lot of really good players.

But I feel like same with the Tour. If I'm playing well, I'm going to compete every week.

My game has been in pretty good form the last couple months, and it felt like it's still in good form. But yeah, obviously Cam is playing great and he's a really good player. Any of the good players, if they're playing well, they're going to be at the top competing on Sunday.

Q. In London as a team you guys lost by 18 strokes, and that was obviously a catalyst for change. When you look back at it now, was that maybe a good thing for the entire season, the way it's turned out?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, that was the first week, my first event out here. Other than a couple teams who had guys, too, and then the draft party -- even guys that had three guys on their team, they still got to pick in the first round. I didn't like that too much because I had to pick three people.

The first week was a little -- it was just different. After that week, that was when I started recruiting players to be on my team, because yeah, you're right, I didn't like it, and I wanted to compete and have a chance to win the event.

But yeah, it was still good. I thought London was great, and it was a really good start, but too, it was the first week. I didn't really know what was going on either too much, but after that I figured it out really quick.

Q. What's your impression of Thailand and also towards the Thai players on the Tour?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: The Thai player I don't really know. Obviously he's a good player, but I haven't played with him. I'm playing with him tomorrow so I'll get to see obviously firsthand, but I haven't played with him. He's good, I get that, but I don't know anything about his game. I can't really comment on that.

Thailand, I really enjoy being in Thailand. This is my second time. First time to Bangkok, but I did a vacation in Phuket eight or nine years ago. I really enjoyed that. That was a lot of fun.

Yeah, the people are really nice, the food is good, and I've enjoyed it.

Q. You're one of the early players who joined LIV Golf since the very beginning in London. Your own impression of how it's progressed, and is there anything you would like to see improve or perhaps expand upon as the years go by?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, I think you could ask anybody. I think for me, it's gone really well. It's gone better than even I expected it to. I think it's just going to keep getting better and keep getting more recognition around the world.

I think we're already starting to a lot. I think the media and everybody is starting to finally catch on that this is not a joke, it's real golf, and we've got some of the best players in the world. Obviously we don't have all of them, but we've got enough of them.

I think it's gone great. I really enjoy it. I love being out here. I love playing. I love being a part of it and starting something new. I think the team aspect brings a whole different kind of flavor to golf, and it's something that people and fans can get behind, and obviously we're going to play in all different parts of the world.

I've never played golf in Thailand. I've never played a tournament here, so it's a new place. Some people have seen us on TV but they've never seen us play in person. Going to different places and all that which we'll have the opportunity to do on the LIV Tour is going to help grow the game, and I think they're doing a good job with that so far.

Q. The individual race and the team race is heating up, so you could secure the individual championship by winning this event this week. You would be a total lock to win. Same with the Four Aces; I don't know that anybody can dethrone you guys. Are you going into the tournament this week thinking about winning so you can lock that individual championship, or in the Four Aces do you guys have a strategy?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Well, the team, we're good. We're going to be in the -- I think we'll be a No. 1 seed going into Miami.

For me, though, individually, yes, I would definitely like to lock that up going into next week even though next week is another golf course that I've played very well on and liked the course and had success there.

But still, it would be nice to get the individual title before we go to next week. So yeah, something I definitely would like to secure.

Q. There's a lot of talk out here about the team play and team this, team that. What are you guys doing, you, Pat, Taylor and Pat Perez, to build a team? Are you guys going out at night together? Are you going to dinners? What's going on?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: I mean, obviously we all know each other, and then we've played the last four events, I think, together. Yeah, we're not doing anything we normally don't do. Maybe play more practice rounds together. That's about it. But I'm buddies with all the guys, and I think we've got a pretty good camaraderie with the team, and they all want to win just as much as I do. I think that's the difference, and we've been playing well. It's real simple with golf. Whoever shoots the low score wins, so that's what we've done.

Q. This is a question about World Ranking points. Even with the players being able to earn points on different tours, are you still hopeful that LIV will be able to earn World Ranking points eventually?

DUSTIN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think so. I don't see how they don't award us points. Like I said, I think it's supposed to be a non-biased organization, so we are playing golf, competing with some of the best golfers in the world, so yes, we should be awarded points.

Will they do that? Hopefully. Like I said, I think we deserve them, and hopefully we'll get them.
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