The natural order of things on the PGA Tour has changed a bit since Phil Mickelson last swung a club in competition. The storied 42-year-old with 48 worldwide wins on his resume will kick his 2013 season into gear at this week’s Humana Challenge. And though Mickelson may not recognize the name of last week’s Sony Open winner, if Russell Henley follows up his first start as a card-carrying member of the tour with similar play at La Quinta, he’ll soon be on Lefty’s radar.
Mickelson, Henley, and reigning U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson head up a field of 156 golfers eager for the winner’s share of the $5.6 million purse up for grabs starting Thursday in the four-day, 72-hole event on the Arnold Palmer Private and Jack Nicklaus Private Courses at PGA West and La Quinta Country Club.
Humana Challenge preview:
- Dates: January 17-January 20
- Courses: Palmer Private at PGA West is a 6,930-yard, par-72 layout that has served as a host of the tournament formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic off and on since 1988. The first three rounds of the tourney’s pro-am event will also take place on PGA West’s Nicklaus Private course (6,924 yards, par-72) and La Quinta CC (7,060/72), a participant in the Classic since 1964
- Field: 156 PGA Tour professionals
- Defending champion: Mark Wilson
- Purse: $5.6 million
- FedEx Cup: Winner receives 500 points
- Format: 72-hole stroke play
- Marquee players: A two-time winner of this event, Phil Mickelson kicks off his 2013 season at the Humana for the second straight year. Simpson, FedEx Cup champ Brandt Snedeker, and Henley are also in the field
- Of note: White House golf enthusiast and Golden Globe presenter, former president Bill Clinton, is slated for the second consecutive year to play one round in the pro-am. Clinton’s foundation teamed up with Humana last year to save the tourney from extinction. Other "celebrities" include Carson Daly, Michael Bolton, Ron White, Eric Dickerson, Craig T. Nelson, and Alice Cooper
- Television (all times ET): Thursday-Sunday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., on Golf Channel