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The Tour Championship (US)

Scheduled: Oct 23-26

The McGladrey Classic

Masters: Phil Mickelson upbeat over form and injury

Last Updated: 06/04/14 12:35pm

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Phil Mickelson during Thursday's opening 68 in Texas

Phil Mickelson during Thursday's opening 68 in Texas

Sky Bet

Phil Mickelson is delighted with both his form and his health, as he prepares for next week's Masters at Augusta.

Going into the Shell Houston Open which began on Thursday, Lefty was unsure about his participation in the Masters and was also concerned about whether he would be able to tee-up at Redstone this week.

However, in the opening round in Texas, he posted a four-under-par 68 to lie three strokes off the pace and in a tie for 18th.

The reigning Open champion has already spent two days this week practising at Augusta National where he will return on Monday to try and lift the title for a fourth time.

Reporting on his short trip to Augusta, the 43-year-old American said he spent Tuesday hitting iron shots, while playing nine holes on Wednesday before travelling on to Houston.

He said: "I was able to spend more time with short irons, chipping, putting as opposed to driving the ball.

"I hit the ball well off the tee at Augusta and didn't miss very many fairways - and it was the same here today."

As for the side muscle injury he suffered during last week's third round in San Antonio, where he was forced to withdraw, Mickelson added: "I'm surprised because I was worried when it happened about the Masters.

"I was certainly worried about Houston but it healed a lot quicker. I felt great today. I didn't feel any pain or discomfort and didn't even think about it."

And he puts his quick recovery down to a piece of medical equipment that goes everywhere with him.

He added: "I travel with the light therapy machine and I got on it right away in San Antonio - about 40 minutes after I was forced to pull out.

"I think that made a world of difference as far as expediting the healing process to where it doesn't hurt any more.

"It just feels sore like I was working out, as opposed to kind of a painful experience.

"And three days later it was simply sore, not too painful. And that surprised me because I was worried about the Masters."

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