2014 Valero Texas Open Preview: Leaderboard
PHIL MICKELSON kicks off his US Masters campaign this week looking to hone his game as the US PGA Tour spends the next fortnight in Texas.
Michelson, the reigning British Open champion and three-time Masters winner, usually plays just the event immediately prior to Augusta National but this year is looking for a little more work after a slow start to 2014
“I haven’t had the success I’ve wanted to early on in this season, and I want to get in contention,” Mickelson said ahead of the Valero Texas Open at the Greg Norman designed TPC San Antonio. “I want to have competitive rounds and work on playing proper golf and managing the game and the rounds. This is a great opportunity to build some momentum going into Augusta.
“I love how the front nine, especially, has shaved areas around the greens, much like we will face at Augusta. That really gives you a chance to work on similar shots. I love how the first cut of rough isn’t too penal. It’s close to what we will see at Augusta. The fairways are plenty wide to hit, but if you do miss them, it’s extremely (penal) and so you don’t want to just unleash and go after one.”
The 43 year old Mickelson is the current world No.5 and heads the field in Texas. With just this event and the Houston Open remaining before what is the year’s first major, other Masters starters are joining Mickelson in playing both, or playing one, or none.
Other golfers this week are hoping for that last minute win that would catapult them into the Augusta National field.
Defending champion this week is Scotland’s Martin Laird, while the Aussie contingent includes John Senden, who has a shiny new Masters invitation thanks to his recent TOUR victory, and other who don’t, including Greg Chalmers, Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Scott Gardiner, Steve Bowditch and Bronson La Cassie.
Live coverage on Fox Sports begins Friday 6am – 9am (AEST).
2014 Valero Texas Open Leaderboard2014 Valero Texas Open Leaderboard