Phil Mickelson feels 'pretty good'

Phil Mickelson spent the past two days practicing at Augusta National and was headed to Texas on Wednesday afternoon for this week's Shell Houston Open.

The three-time Masters champion said on his website that the plan all along was to skip the Houston pro-am and instead fulfill his duties by visiting with sponsors.

"I played nine holes today at Augusta and I felt pretty good,'' said Mickelson, who is ranked fifth in the world. "I was able to swing fine. I just felt sore as opposed to hurting."

Mickelson withdrew from the Texas Open after 11 holes of the third round on Saturday with an injury to his right oblique muscle. After a weekend at his home near San Diego, he headed to the home of the Masters for two days of practice prior to the first major championship of the year, which begins next week.

Mickelson has yet to finish among the top 10 this year on the PGA Tour, although he did have a runner-up finish at his first event in Abu Dhabi.

He withdrew from both the Farmers Insurance Open and the Texas Open, where he made the cut on the number.

"I feel that to give myself the best chance at the Masters, I have to play in Houston,'' said Mickelson, who is grouped for the first two rounds with Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson. "If I thought I would injure myself further, I would have withdrawn from the tournament, but the last few days have been good.''