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Phil Mickelson looking to get right at Houston Open

April 04, 2014|By David Wharton
  • Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on Thursday.
Phil Mickelson watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round… (Scott Halleran / Getty Images )

Phil Mickelson stood five strokes back through early second-round play at the Shell Houston Open on Friday, but the leaderboard wasn't the only thing that mattered to him.

After suffering a muscle injury last week, Mickelson was equally concerned about preparing for Augusta National on Thursday. 

"I just felt that for me to have a realistic chance or [as] best a chance as possible at the Masters, I've got to play this week and get in a better frame of mind," he said after his 4-under first round.

A piece of modern technology came to the rescue after an oblique muscle strain forced Mickelson to withdraw from the Valero Texas Open last week. Within days, he was practicing at Augusta.

"I travel with this light machine and it expedites the healing process, and I got it on right away when it pulled, and three days later instead of feeling hurt, it just felt sore," he said.

A surging Sergio Garcia was leading in Houston at 9-under through nine holes of his second round. Shawn Stefani was one stroke back with Matt Jones and Jim Renner at 7-under.

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