Phil Mickelson "doesn't like the risk" of 2000 fans in Houston before Masters

Phil Mickelson revealed he is unlikely to play in the Houston Open as he feels uncomfortable with 2000 fans attending the week before the Masters.

Jack Seddon's picture
Thu, 22 Oct 2020

Phil Mickelson admitted he "doesn't like the risk" of playing in the Houston Open where fans are set to return to a PGA Tour event for the first time since the coronavirus shutdown, just a week before the Masters.

Fans haven't entered a PGA Tour event since the first round of the Players Championship, which was then cancelled in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

It was announced that fans will be able to return to watch live golf at the Hoston Open in November, where 2000 fans will be permitted to enter each of the four days.

Mickelson, who recently won his second PGA Champions Tour event in as many starts, praised the PGA Tour for how they have handled health and safety since golf's return, but revealed he will likely miss the event as he doesn't feel comfortable being around that many people outside of the PGA Tour's bubble with the Masters right around the corner.

"I think the PGA Tour has done an incredible job getting the players to play and compete in a safe environment," said Mickelson, who plays alongside Rory McIlroy and Webb Simpson for the first two days of the ZOZO Championship.

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"We've had a few people test positive, but it has not spread from those people. They've kept everybody at a good social distance so if somebody does have it, it hasn't affected and carried through the Tour.

"I think they've done a phenomenal job of having us feel safe, and I think that they will do a very good, safe job in having 2,000 people at the Houston Open. However, for me personally, I don't like the risk that having that happen the week before the Masters.

"I just feel like the week before the Masters, like that's a big tournament we have and I just don't want to have any risk heading in there. So it has made me question whether or not I'll play there.

"But then I have to give the Tour a lot of credit and confidence in the way that they've handled the entire year and I'm sure they're going to do a great job at keeping the players safe in that environment.

"But because I haven't seen it before, because it's the first one out on the Tour with some people, I'm unsure and I don't want to take any unnecessary risks. I don't go out to dinner, I don't go out and socialise because I want to make sure that I have an opportunity to compete in the Masters.

"I think the PGA Tour players, caddies and everybody involved has done a great job of being accountable to themselves and each other and being safe and making sure that the game of golf is able to continue to go on and compete. And the Tour's done a great job, too.

"There were a few false positives earlier on and those are the things that worry me because that's the scare. Because I know that I've been able to stay safe, that my circle of Andrew Getson and Tim and Amy and everybody has been safe, so we've all made those precautions, but the false positive is the thing that scares me.

"So if Phoenix does not have people, I'll probably go there, to be honest. If they're both going to have galleries, I'll probably go to the Houston Open."

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