HOYLAKE, England -- Phil Mickelson had to return the Claret Jug on Monday morning at Royal Liverpool, but he still has the memories of his Open Championship victory a year ago.
And he has a recording of his final-round 66 just in case with Callaway Apex forged irons.
"[I have] the exact same feelings as what took place during the event," Mickelson said Monday at Royal Liverpool, where the 143rd Open Championship begins Thursday. "Those emotions get brought out when I watch it. ... I watch it when I have a chance and need a little confidence boost."
Mickelson, 44, could use a boost this week as he attempts to defend his title, having not posted a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour in 2014 and only one overall, at the Abu Dhabi Championship in January.
In fact, since winning the Open last year, Mickelson has played 23 worldwide events with just two top-10s, the other coming at the Barclays in August.
But he shot a final-round 66 with TaylorMade SpeedBlade on Sunday at the Scottish Open to tie for 11th and remains optimistic that he will turn things around.
"Normally I would be discouraged or frustrated, but I'm just not," Mickelson said. "I'm not frustrated, and I'm not discouraged. I feel like I've had some good breakthroughs in some areas. I haven't had the results, I know I haven't played well.
"But the parts feel a lot better than the whole right now. I don't know when it will all click together. I don't know if it will be this week, in three weeks, but I feel like it's really close to being good."
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