Mickelson likely to miss year's first US tour event

Mickelson likely to miss year's first US tour event

"Right now I may end up playing and I may not, and it will depend on some out-of-school stuff that could prohibit us actually going on a family vacation which is what we did last year," the US Masters champion said.

"Tucson is one of my favourite places to play and the Match-Play is one of my favourite tournaments to compete in but with the kids having a week off school I would say I am 50-50 right now whether I do play."

The Match-Play Championship starts on February 23. Mickelson has missed the event just twice since the inaugural tournament in 1999 -- in 2001 and last year.

Mickelson heads back to the United States having carded rounds of 71, 70, 72 and 70 for a five-under-par total in the Abu Dhabi Championship, his first event of the year. "This has been a good week for me given that I haven't played in the last two months and I was a little bit rusty," he said.

"It's given me the chance to see where I was performing well and where I was weak. The first three days my short game was very poor so I came out early today to spend a little more time on that aspect, and I will go back home and spend time on it.

"It cost me a number of shots throughout my rounds and that's an area I need to focus on and get sharper in coming weeks."  Mickelson will contest two other regular European Tour events this year: the Scottish Open from July 7 and the Singapore Open from Nov 10.

However, he ruled out competing in the Dubai Desert Classic, in which Tiger Woods intends to take part, from Feb 10, and the Qatar Masters starting a week earlier. "The difficulty for me is that the tournaments in the Middle East are during the 'West Coast Swing' (of) tournaments I grew up playing," he said.