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Lefty committed to play Houston Open 2013

The Houston Open has always been the warm-up of choice for most Masters hopefuls. Scheduled one week before Augusta National, the course is set up to be as similar as possible to the first major of the year.

Taking advantage of this quirk in the schedule of the PGA Tour could be over though. Next year Houston will be two weeks before the Masters, and the Valero Texas Open will be the new tournament that precedes the major by a week instead.

Whether that will effect Houston's popularity remains to be seen, but they are still guaranteed one big name, as Phil Mickelson says he'll still be heading there for his Masters tune-up.

"I think this tournament has found a very good niche. A lot of players really enjoy coming here and getting ready for the Masters, because the superintendent does such a great job of setting the course up as close as possible to what we'll see the following week at Augusta."

"I think next year it's actually tougher for the players, because the course now in San Antonio is so different than Augusta, that I don't know if guys will still go there," Mickelson said. "I think they'll still come to Houston, because of the way the course is set up.

"I'm certainly planning on it, yes. I don't know why I wouldn't. I've played well here now the last couple of years, and again I think that it's a great way to prepare for the Masters because of what the setup is.

"Now listen, the fact there there's no rough really, it's first cut much like Augusta, anytime I see that sign me up."

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