Phil Mickelson will warm up for the Masters in Texas this weekend. Photo: thesun.co.uk
After spending the past four weeks battling the elements in Florida, the PGA Tour heads west this week for the last two lead-up events before the US Masters at Augusta. Phil Mickelson and co will contest the Texas Open at the TPC, San Antonio.
This is an historic tournament which dates back to 1922 and boasts past champions such as Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino. According to Ernie Els , ‘the TPC at San Antonio is the kind of course where if you get out of position you can easily make big numbers. It’s a tough test and you have to be accurate, but at times, creative. Every green is different; with a lot of run-off areas, and it always keeps you thinking.’ Then there’s the wind which can be lethal on scoring.
Mickelson is one of the favourites in his first appearance at the tournament since his debut in 1992. The evergreen left-hander finished t16 at Doral in his last start and is still chasing his first top 10 of 2013-14. Zach Johnson’s game is perfect for this course, as he proved winning back-to-back in 2008 and 2009. He’s made the cut in all eight of his stroke-play events this season and has three top ten finishes, including a win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Matt Kuchar finished in the top 25 here 12 months ago for the second year in a row. He’s been in the top 15 in five of his seven events this season, but he’ll be looking to bounce back from a t38 two weeks ago at the Valspar. Fredrik Jacobson has been in the top 20 for each of his last three events and also has a great history at this tournament. Last year, he finished t15 giving him five straight top-20's at TPC San Antonio, highlighted by a runner-up finish to Adam Scott in 2010.
Jordan Spieth tees it up in his native Texas, before setting himself for a big debut at the Masters next month. He’s had three top 10s and another four top 25s this season. Martin Laird is also back to defend his title. Jim Furyk is threatening to win this tournament after finishing under par in each round en route to a t3 in his debut at TPC San Antonio last year. He’s managed three top 25s this season.
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