LA QUINTA, CA – Four-time major championship winner Phil Mickelson announced this month his commitment to play in the Humana Challenge in partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation, the PGA TOUR golf tournament at PGA WEST’s Palmer and Nicklaus Private Courses and La Quinta Country Club from Jan. 14-20, 2013.
Newly inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in May and ranked No. 15 in the world, Mickelson won the Humana Challenge in 2002 and 2004, and he is the event’s all-time leading money-winner, having amassed $2,043,681 in eight pro starts. He will begin his PGA TOUR season at the Humana Challenge for the second consecutive year.
For the fourth consecutive year, the $5.6 million tournament will take place entirely within La Quinta, where players will compete for a $1.008 million winner’s check. The purse and winner’s check are tied for the largest in event history.
Mickelson’s 40 PGA TOUR victories are the second most among active PGA TOUR golfers and include major championships at the 2004, 2006 and 2010 Masters and the 2005 PGA Championship.
He also holds a prominent place in the history of the Humana Challenge. Mickelson is one of seven players to have won the tournament multiple times, with both of his victories coming in playoffs. His four-shot rally during the final round in 2002 is tied for the second-biggest comeback in event history and was his 20th PGA TOUR win. Mickelson’s 37 birdies over 90 holes in 2004 is tied for the tournament record.
One of the most popular golfers of his generation, Mickelson is an active participant in charitable endeavors. The Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation, the Birdies for the Brave, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Homes for Our Troops and Start Smart bear testament to the passion Mickelson has for giving back off the course.
Mickelson joins defending FedExCup champion and 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup teammate Brandt Snedeker and 2012 Humana Challenge champion Mark Wilson as early commitments to the 2013 Humana Challenge. Ranked No. 9 in the world and coming off his best finish in the event (T8 in 2012), Snedeker is the second reigning FedExCup champion to return to the event, following in the footsteps of 2011 FedExCup winner and 2010 event winner Bill Haas.
“Having Phil and Brandt on board already bodes well for the strength of our field again this year and provides further proof of the appeal of the event,” said Bob Marra, Humana Challenge executive director and CEO. “The legacy Phil has left on our event is undeniable, his popularity among our fans is remarkable and we could not be more pleased to have him start his season with us again. I am also proud to welcome back our defending champion, Mark Wilson, who has committed to the field.
“Everybody gave it rave reviews afterward, how great it was to play, and I think you’re going to see more guys step up this year that haven’t played in the past and have a great time,” Snedeker said, referring to the 2012 Humana Challenge. “I think the field will grow every year. More guys will go out and play and see what it’s like. I think, year to year, it’s going to get a lot stronger field for that time of year.”
The Humana Challenge, which continues to honor and celebrate the legacy of Bob Hope, was named 2012 Sports Event of the Year by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.
The 2013 Humana Challenge is a four-round, 72-hole event featuring an expanded field of 156 PGA TOUR professionals and 156 amateurs, including celebrities. The first three rounds of the four-day tournament will be played in a pro-am format, with the pro-am teams consisting of one professional and one amateur playing in groups of four. Round four will feature professionals only.
Tickets $30 with advance purchase, event and volunteer information, and registration information for the Jan. 14 Couples Challenge Pro-Am and Jan. 16 Bob Hope Legacy Pro-Am is available online at www.HumanaChallenge.com. Fans can subscribe to the Humana Challenge’s monthly eNewsletter on the website. During the past 53 years, the Humana Challenge has generated more than $52 million in donations to charities in the Coachella Valley, primarily the Eisenhower Medical Center. The 2012 Humana Challenge announced record donations of nearly $2.1 million to local organizations.