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Mickelson to play in Houston

Phil Mickelson has confirmed he will play in this week's Houston Open with a view to boosting his chances of success at next week's Masters.

The 43-year-old withdrew from the Valero Texas Open midway through the third round last week with an injury to his right oblique muscle.

Mickelson took the opportunity to fly to Augusta and says he is able to swing freely and his pain has been downgraded from 'hurt' to soreness.

Mickelson, a winner at Houston in 2011, is aiming for his fourth Augusta Masters title having triumphed in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

"I played nine holes today at Augusta and I felt pretty good," he told his official website.

"I was able to swing fine. It just felt sore as opposed to hurting. I feel that to give myself the best chance at the Masters I have to play in Houston.

"If I thought I would injure myself further I would have withdrawn from the tournament but the last few days have been good."