April 06, 2014
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
- Phil Mickelson finished 12th at the Shell Houston Open, his final start before the Masters. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
HUMBLE, Texas -- Phil Mickelson said he felt no discomfort at the Shell Houston Open from the pulled muscle that forced him to withdraw from the prior week’s event. There’s still something nagging at him as he heads to Augusta National, though.
“I’m a little nervous heading into next week. I haven’t had the results, I haven’t been in contention, I haven’t won this year, so I’m certainly nervous about my chances, but it’s my favorite week of the year,” said Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion. “It will be a challenge for me to deal with the pressure of the Masters and how much I love that tournament when I haven’t been (in contention) much this year.”
This is the first year since 2010 that Mickelson will arrive at Augusta National without a victory. Mickelson’s most recent Masters victory came in 2010.
His T12 finish at the Shell Houston Open was his best on the PGA TOUR this season. His last top-10 on TOUR was a T6 at The Barclays in August. He finished T2 in his 2014 debut, at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, but has finished outside the top 10 in his past seven starts. He’s 80th in the FedExCup.
“I think it’s important to have some momentum and to have been in contention heading into the Masters because there’s a lot of pressure there, you feel it,” he said. “And it’s not the easiest thing to deal with and control if you haven’t been exposed to it.”
Since winning the Scottish Open and The Open Championship in consecutive weeks in July, Mickelson has just two top-10s in 16 worldwide starts.