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Mickelson has 'rough' idea of pre-Masters schedule

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MEXICO CITY – Last week in Los Angeles, Phil Mickelson suggested he might skip The Players, an event he won in 2007. On Wednesday in Mexico, however, he seemed to be leaning toward adding the PGA Tour’s flagship event to his schedule.

Although Mickelson said his schedule leading into the Masters is still in flux, he appears to be considering starts at both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players, which moves back to March this season.

“I’m expecting 2-inch rough (at The Players) and if it’s the case I’ll probably play,” Mickelson said, though he reiterated that no Tour event is a “must-play.”

Players were recently informed in this month’s green sheet that the primary rough at TPC Sawgrass will be cut to 2 ½ inches, although conditions can change depending on weather.

Following last year’s Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, a course Mickelson called “almost unplayable" because of its lengthy rough, Lefty said he would start arranging his schedule to play courses that fit his game. “I'm 48. I'm not going to play tournaments with rough like that anymore, it's a waste of my time,” he said last fall.

The 2007 Players was the first year the event was played in May, and Mickelson’s record at the event in March is not the best, with just two top-10 finishes in 13 starts.

Mickelson also suggested he might skip the Valero Texas Open, which will be played the week before the Masters. Although he normally plays the week before the year’s first major, TPC San Antonio probably isn’t the best preparation for Augusta National.

“I've played there before. Windy, tight conditions is not conducive for Augusta,” said Mickelson, who added that he is a proponent of the Tour’s new condensed schedule. “That's a personal thing you've got to kind of work around.”