Phil’s Off to Houston, But Doesn’t Sound Thrilled About It
By Conor Nagle under PGA Tour

Phil: practice needed

Phil Mickelson spurned yet another opportunity to pass Tiger Woods in the world rankings on Sunday, finishing with three bogeys in the last five holes to drop out of a place in the top-ten. Lefty’s next outing will be at this week’s Shell Houston Open, where he’ll use the week to experiment with shots that are completely inappropriate:

“Houston is not going to set up well for me… The way the course is set up, you can’t hit it more than 285-290 off a lot of the tees. It’s not going to be a course where I’m going to play the most strategic and expect to really score well… The problem for me there is there is so much water that pinches off the tee, and I’m just not going to hit 3-woods off the tee and play that course strategically the week before Augusta, and then when it gets windy and I’m trying to hit high balls for Augusta and it requires a low knock-down shot, it’s not going to work.”

Far be it from me to question the logic of a four-time major champion, BUT if playing the week before the Masters is important to you only because it offers a chance to examine your game under the pressure of competition, why would you commit to playing in a way that minimises said pressure (ie. my shots won’t suit the course, so what can you do? *shrug*) to the point where participating in the tournament becomes little more than a rehearsal of a rehearsal, with little if any positive reinforcement on offer?

If Phil’s not willing to commit wholeheartedly, wouldn’t the week be better spent elsewhere?