Mickelson optimistic after overcoming mid-season slump


After a win at Pebble Beach in February and three other top-5 finishes this spring – nearly including a fourth green jacket – 2012 seemed like it would be a promising season for Phil Mickelson.

Beginning with a withdrawal at the Memorial, though, Mickelson went three months without a top-30 finish. While preparing for this week's Barclays Singapore Open, he admitted to struggling this summer but indicated that working through the slump helped bring his game to a new level.

'I've had really tough three or four months when I played some of my worst golf in my career,' Mickelson told SkySports this week. 'I've had to piece my game back and now since the PGA, I've played better golf every single week.'

His turnaround began with a T-4 finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship, one of three consecutive top-15 finishes with which Mickelson closed the FedEx Cup playoffs. After successfully teaming with Keegan Bradley at Medinah, Mickelson finished T-2 at last week's WGC-HSBC Champions in China and now is beginning to turn his attention to 2013.

'I'm excited about next year,' he told reporters. 'That three or four months downtime has forced me to piece my game back to where I think I'm better now than I think it has been in a long time.'

As his roller-coaster season draws to a close, Mickelson hinted at beginning his 2013 campaign at the Humana Challenge in January.

'This is my last tournament of the year,' he told EuropeanTour.com. 'I'll have some things going in the off-season, but my next tournament will most likely be in Palm Springs.'

Playing in Asia for the second consecutive week, he shared a hope that American participation will grow as tournaments like the WGC-HSBC Champions officially join the FedEx Cup season for 2013.

'It's great that tournaments in Asia are part of the FedEx Cup,' Mickelson noted. 'I'm hopeful that at some point, the U.S. tour can maybe have three or five events over here.'