Mickelson doubtful for Masters

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Phil Mickelson has confirmed that he will miss the Houston Open this week and is in doubt for the Masters.

After just making the cut at the Texas Open last week, the world number five pulled an oblique muscle on the 11th tee the next day.

If the 43-year-old officially pulls out, it would be a serious blow to the Masters, as he would be the second major draw-card to pull out of Augusta following Tiger Woods’ absence due to back surgery.

Mickelson returned home to San Diego to assess the injury and missed out his vital scheduled practice rounds at Augusta National on Monday and Tuesday. The American enjoys playing at Augusta, as he has captured three of his five majors at the esteemed course.

“We haven’t heard a word from Phil, so we don’t know whether he’s playing or not,” said a PGA Tour official.

“All we know at this stage is that we had a call saying he be excused from competing in the Pro Am.”

While the lefty has played down the extent of the injury to the media, his playing partner in Texas, Stuart Appleby, revealed it could be more serious than originally imagined.

“Phil had hit a few poor shots but it was the first hole of our back nine when I really noticed there was something wrong, as he just didn’t look right,” said the Australian.

“Then he sort of feathered one down the next and that was it. He then came over to John (Merrick) and myself and said: “Look guys. I think something’s going on in my back and I’m out of here.”

Mickelson is also expected to host a press conference for before the opening round in Houston, an event he won comfortably in 2011 by three strokes.

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