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Phil Mickelson to Again Start PGA Tour in Valley at Humana Challenge

Mickelson, who has won four majors and 40 PGA Tour tournaments, will start his 2013 season at the tournament, scheduled for Jan. 14-20 in La Quinta, according to organizers.

Phil Mickelson will play in the Humana Challenge in January, and singer Tony Bennett will perform at the welcome party, organizers announced Wednesday.

Mickelson, who has won four majors and 40 PGA Tour tournaments, will start his 2013 season at the tournament, scheduled for Jan. 14-20 in La Quinta, according to organizers.

Organizers also announced that Bennett, a 17-time Grammy winner, would sing at the welcome party.

Other early tournament commitments include defending FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker and this year's Humana Challenge winner, Mark Wilson.

"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 tournament executive director and CEO Bob Marra. "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."

Mickelson played in the 2012 tournament in January and finished 49th, according to the PGA Tour website. He is the tournament's all-time leading money winner and won it in 2004 and 2002.

The tournament, formerly the Bob Hope Classic, became known this year as the Humana Challenge and moved to a traditional four-round schedule from a five-day run with an increased pro field. The tournament will be held at PGA West's Palmer and Nicklaus private courses and La Quinta Country Club. The field will include 156 PGA Tour professionals and 156 amateurs. Players will compete for a $1.008 million winner's check.

The new name reflects the tournament's eight-year partnership with Humana, a health insurance provider based in Kentucky. Humana sponsors the tournament with the Clinton Foundation, and the golf event raises money for Coachella Valley charities, primarily Eisenhower Medical Center. During the past 53 years, the tournament has generated more than $52 million in donations to charities, $2.1 million from the 2012 tournament.

At the beginning of tournament week, the Clinton Foundation will host its second annual "Health Matters" conference.

Tournament tickets, volunteer information, and registration information for the Jan. 14 Couples Challenge Pro-Am and Jan. 16 Bob Hope Legacy Pro-Am are available at www.humanachallenge.com or by calling (888) 672-4673.

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