Phil Mickelson Among Players Making Season Debut At Humana Challenge

By Les Bailey
Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson joins a group of players that will begin their 2013 season at the Humana Colf Challenge which tees off on Thursday morning at three courses in the California desert. This tournament was known for years as The Bob Hope Desert Classic, and until 2012 was a 90-hole Pro-Am event, but was shortened last year to the traditional 72 holes.

Phil Mickelson will turn 43 years old this year, and has won 40 tournaments since turning pro in 1992. He is a graduate of Arizona State, and has won over $73 Million. His 40 victories on tour is second for active players,  only to Tiger Woods. Phil has three Masters Championships on his resume, and one PGA Championship. He finished runner-up in the US Open five times, the first time to Payne Stewart in the 1999 US Open. His best finish in the British Open was a T2 in 2011.

Mickelson got off to a great start in 2012, with a win at the AT&T, and after a playoff loss to Bill Haas at Riveria, faded down the stretch. Phil seems to have too many irons in the fire at time, and over commits himself during the year. He looked exhausted for most of the remainder of the season until Keegan Bradley revived him at The Ryder Cup.

The tournament is now known as The Humana Golf Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. It is played on the PGA West Palmer Course, The LaQuinta Country Club, and The PGA West Nicklaus Course. Mickelson will play the first two rounds with 2012 Players Champion, Matt Kuchar.

Former PGA Champion, David Toms will also get his season started at the Humana. The 46 year old Toms from Monroe Louisana, was being considered for the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy, but was passed over for Tom Watson. Toms indicated he was OK with the decision, and was more interested in staying on-track with his playing career, and didn’t rule out his ability to play himself onto that team. Toms turned pro in 1989, and won over $40 Million on tour.

The purse at this tournament is $5.6 Million, and the defending champion is Mark Wilson. There is no major network coverage for this tournament, but coverage all four days can be seen on the Golf Channel from 3:00 to 7:00 PM Eastern with a re-broadcast daily at 10:00 PM.

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