British Open's reigning champ Phil Mickelson upbeat despite rough year

Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the fourth hole  during a practice round ahead of the...

Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during a practice round ahead of the British Open at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, July 14, 2014. (STEFAN WERMUTH/Reuters)

Dave Hilson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:03 AM ET

HOYLAKE, ENGLAND - Phil Mickelson sat at the podium in the media room of Royal Liverpool golf course on Monday afternoon and fielded a question about what he has been reading these days.

The question never got answered. But it came up that 12 years ago, when he was heading into Muirfield to play in the 2002 British Open, he was carrying a copy of Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time.

Heady stuff.

A thinking man’s book.

A man needs to be able to think to get around the links at Hoylake, in northwest England, where this year’s edition of the Open is being held.

Maybe it’s a good omen for Mickelson who must be hoping that his reign as the current British Open champion won’t be coming to an end in a brief period of time.

But it’s hard to think otherwise.

It hasn’t been a stellar season for the big left-hander who has 42 PGA Tour victories and five major titles under his belt. No top-10s and missed cuts at the Masters and The Players on the PGA Tour.


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