London: Never mind green jackets, white coats might seem more appropriate for the officials at next week’s Masters. Phil Mickelson will be examined after becoming the latest big-name doubt for the season’s opening Major.
The 43-year-old is still hopeful of playing this week in Houston, despite sharp pains in his right side forcing his withdrawal after 10 holes of the third round of the Texas Open on Saturday.
After spending the day with his family in San Diego, a spokesman for the left-hander confirmed he would visit the medics to see the extent of the damage.
With Tiger Woods (back) and Jason Day (thumb) also struggling, it means that three of the world’s top five will head into Augusta with fitness concerns; if they show up at all. And with other high-profile players, such as Hunter Mahan (lower back) and Bubba Watson (allergies), battling to be ready the locker room may resemble a casualty truck.
The word from Mickelson’s camp is that the withdrawal was precautionary. His caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, explained the reasons behind the decision, with his man four-over for the tournament and way out of contention.