Phil Mickelson opts for PGA Tour over seniors in final Masters tune-up

Ryan Lavner
·1 min read

Phil Mickelson has decided to play in the PGA Tour’s Vivint Houston Open, not the PGA Tour Champions event, in his final tuneup before the Masters.

Last week Mickelson said he was exploring whether to tee it up in Houston at Memorial Park – a course he’d never seen – or at the senior event at Phoenix Country Club. Also complicating his decision was the Tour allowing 2,000 fans per day in Houston, marking the first time a Tour event in the U.S. has permitted spectators since the Players Championship. Mickelson later told GolfChannel.com that the fans wouldn’t be a deciding factor.

Mickelson committed to the tournament Thursday, a day before the deadline, along with Jordan Spieth. Those two stars will join a field that also includes Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau as they look to get ready for the Masters the following week.

Mickelson frequently plays in Houston the week before the Masters, but the event was rescheduled to November and moved this year to Memorial Park. He’s coming off a second-to-last-place finish at the Zozo Championship, where he was worst in the field in the strokes gained: tee to green category. Prior to that he’d won each of his first two starts on the PGA Tour Champions.

“I’ll see what course is best to get ready (for) and I’ll do that,” he told reporters Sunday. “But this week I’ll work on a couple of things and see if I can get my game sharper. I need to be much more disciplined out here.”

A three-time winner at Augusta National, Mickelson has finished outside the top 15 in each of his past four appearances there.