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Woods confirms Augusta trip

Will this take the pressure off Rory McIlroy, as Paul McGinley predicted?

Look what happened at the US PGA last year,” McGinley said last month. “All the talk was ‘is Tiger going to play, is he not going to play?’ At the time Rory was favourite, but all the expectation, all the talk, all you guys [the media] were focused on was Tiger. Rory didn’t sneak in the back door, but he was able to go about his business without the attention on him.”

Whatever about the effect Woods’ presence has on McIlroy this week, his announcement on came shortly before Phil Mickelson charged into the lead in the Shell Houston Open.

 “I know that for me to have a good chance next week, I’ve got to play well. I’ve got to get into contention,” said Mickelson, whose sharp short game has been key. “I’ve done that so far.

“I’ve got to continue to stay focused, hit shots and be sharp throughout the weekend. If I’m able to do that, that will give me momentum. 

“Although it’s happened in the past where guys have out of nowhere played great that week and had a magical week and won, the odds aren’t in your favour. The pressure that you feel trying to win the Masters is greater than just about anything we have.”



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