Mickelson lugs Claret Jug to Bridgestone

Phil Mickelson poses for pictures with the Claret Jug after winning the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.

Phil Mickelson poses for pictures with the Claret Jug after winning the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield.

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Only in his dreams has Phil Mickelson won the U.S. Open. At least that’s what he told the media on July 30 during his press conference at the World Golf Championships - Bridgestone Invitational.

"I'm going to share something with you. When I woke up (before Sunday's final round), I had dreamt that I had already won the U.S. Open, and so I had the same feelings and excitement that I had won. I finally won the U.S. Open; it was such a great feeling," Mickelson said. "And it took me over a minute to realize that I haven't played the final round and that I've got to go out and still do it."

Mickelson took the dream as a premonition that he was going to win. He came close, but for the sixth time he was the runner-up in his country’s national championship. It caused him to plummet into such a depressed state that for the next several days he struggled to get out of bed.

There’s no better elixir than winning, and with a victory at the Scottish Open under his belt, Mickelson entered the Open Championship at Muirfield brimming with confidence that he could win the one major title he thought might elude him and keep his resume incomplete. Which is why when he wakes up every morning as the "Champion Golfer of the Year," he wants to pinch himself when he sees the Claret Jug.

"I look at the (trophy) to make sure that I actually did win it and I already played the final round," Mickelson said. "I'm just excited every day that I've got the Claret Jug, and I get to look at it every day."

Mickelson will be able to do so while competing at the Bridgestone Invitational, and again next week at the PGA Championship. He brought the Claret Jug with him.

"It's not like I'm going to leave it," he said.

Mickelson added that he plans to allow some of his friends to drink from the Jug and take photos with it.

“That’s a cool experience that not many people get to do," he said.

After a hectic media tour last week following his return from Europe, Mickelson resumed his preparation for the season’s final major by playing a practice round Monday at Oak Hill, site of the PGA, and prepped at Firestone CC, where his instructor, Butch Harmon, will be available if needed.

"Today was really the first day that I was able to really work on my game and work on my touch, work on shot-making and so forth, and it was not far off," Mickelson said. “Right now, I’m playing as well as I ever have and I want to make sure I stay focused this week and next week because I think there’s an opportunity to add to this year and make this year every bit as special as it can be.”

Now that would be a dream come true.

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