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Shell Houston Open 2012 Preview: Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood Among Strong Field

The final tuneup before the Masters, the Shell Houston Open, tees off Thursday, but golfers beware: no player has ever won this tournament and won at Augusta the following week.

HUMBLE, TX - APRIL 03:  Phil Mickelson hits his second shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club on April 3, 2011 in Humble, Texas.  (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
HUMBLE, TX - APRIL 03: Phil Mickelson hits his second shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club on April 3, 2011 in Humble, Texas. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
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The final tournament before the 2012 Masters is the Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas, and it features a 144-player field filled with former major champions like Phil Mickelson, the reigning champion, 2011's PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, Padraig Harrington, Y.E. Yang, 2011 British Open champ Darren Clarke and the holder of the dubious best-current-player-to-never-win-a-major title, Lee Westwood.

Players in this tournament might want to rethink before winning it, however. Though it's known as a tune-up for Augusta, no player has ever won the Shell Houston Open and gone on to win the Masters the next week. Still, the golfers will be trying their hardest because the winner receives a giant check for just more than $1 million out of a total purse of more than $5 million and a hefty boost in the FedEx Cup rankings.

For more news and updates on this tournament, keep checking back with SB Nation's golf blog, Waggle Room, and dedicated golf hub.