Phil: "I like playing in a tournament that's similar to what we'll be playing"

It will be interesting to see what the players at the Valero Texas Open have to say about it as a pre-Masters venue this year due to a scheduling quirk that has put the Shell Houston Open--and its Augustaeque setup--next week on the schedule.

Phil Mickelson explained why he's not playing at the Valero, home to the reviled TPC San Antonio, even though it's not his preference. Bob Harig reports:

"For me personally, I like playing in a tournament that's similar to what we'll be playing," Mickelson said. "For a long time, we had a pretty good tournament before the U.S. Open. I don't remember what it was [Westchester] but now it's Memphis. It's so hot, I run out of energy and going to the Open, I'm drained so I don't play there anymore.

"This year, having a windy, tight course [in San Antonio] really isn't conducive to getting ready for Augusta. That makes it difficult for me personally so I'll end up going to Augusta a few days early and what have you. I've got to make some adjustments, just because the tournaments before the majors are not helping us at all get ready."

Mickelson is a man of his word, added the Scottish Open last year to his schedule. And with a return to Castle Stuart this year along with an NBC weekend telecast, chances are decent he'll do the same.