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Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 13:49 UK

Mickelson set for Augusta warm-up

Phil Mickelson
Mickelson won the WGC-CA Championship in March

Phil Mickelson insists he is delighted with his form in the build up to the Masters at Augusta.

The world number two will attempt to win his third PGA Tour title in 2009 at the Houston Open this week, the last event before the Masters on 9 April.

Mickelson, a two-time Masters winner, has already won the WGC-CA Championship and Northern Trust Open this season.

"It feels great to have won because I knew that I was playing some good golf heading in," said the 38-year-old.

"It feels great because I'm starting my Masters run to Augusta. This is all part of the process."

The left-handed American goes into the Houston Open alongside 14 of the world's top 20 golfers and the Redstone Golf Club has again been set up to provide similar conditions to Augusta National.

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"I enjoy this process of competing, being in the final group, being tied for the lead, feeling that pressure, feeling that intensity and how important each shot is throughout the entire round," added Mickelson, who worked hard on his game during the off-season with swing coach Butch Harmon.

"All of that adds to helping me, or whoever, play better in the majors, as well as being able to come out on top in a World Golf Championships where we have the best players in the world competing."

Spaniard Sergio Garcia (ranked third), Australian Geoff Ogilvy (fourth), Irishman Padraig Harrington (fifth), Fijian Vijay Singh (sixth), Swede Robert Karlsson (seventh), Colombian Camilo Villegas (eighth) and Swede Henrik Stenson (10th) will all be in action.

Although Singh is still recovering from the effects of knee surgery earlier this year, he has a strong affinity with this tournament having won at Woodlands in 2002 and at Redstone in 2004 and 2005.

American Johnson Wagner defends the title he won by a shot last year to book his place in his first Masters.



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