Mickelson (oblique) opts out of Houston pro-am


A rough week for injury-related news in the world of golf continues.

Three days after a muscle strain forced him out of the Valero Texas Open, Phil Mickelson has decided to skip the official pro-am at the Shell Houston Open, leaving his status for this week's event in doubt.

"We haven't heard a word from Phil, so we don't know whether he's playing or not," a PGA Tour official told the AFP. "All we know at this stage is that we had a call saying he (needed to) be excused from competing in the pro-am."

PGA Tour players are allowed to skip two official pro-ams per season, and this is the second consecutive year that Mickelson has opted out of the pro-am in Houston under those guidelines. He also withdrew from the pro-am at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in January, one week after a back injury forced him to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open. He went on to tie for 42nd at TPC Scottsdale.

Mickelson completed 10 holes during his third round at TPC San Antonio before calling it quits because of a strained oblique muscle. He planned to return to San Diego for evaluation before heading to Houston for this week's event.

"I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit the ball hard on the first hole (his 10th)," Mickelson said Saturday. "It just killed and it wouldn't subside for 10 or 12 seconds."

His status for this week remains uncertain as does his prognosis for the Masters next week. Earlier Tuesday, Tiger Woods withdrew from the season's first major and announced that he'll be sidelined for "several" weeks after undergoing back surgery.

"(I'll) have a doctor take a look at it, but there's really not much you can do for a pulled muscle," Mickelson said Saturday. "I hope I'll be OK to play (Houston), but I just don't know."

Should Mickelson tee it up this week at Redstone, he'll play the first two rounds alongside Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson. The trio is slated to begin play at 8:50 a.m. ET Thursday.