Golf News for Friday, December 7, 2012 | Tournaments

Phil Mickelson announces commitment to play in Human Challenge

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Four-time major championship winner Phil Mickelson announced 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.

The Humana Challenge PGA TOUR event, in partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation, features lifelong well-being as its theme, challenging players, spectators and the general public to improve their health by making positive changes in diet, exercise and lifestyle. The tournament aims to raise awareness for the benefits of health-conscious behavioral choices by showcasing authentic lifestyle changes that foster vibrant, long-term health. The Humana Challenge offers healthy food concessions, pedometers to encourage walking and gauge distance and calories burned, an active family fit area and community-wide local events. And, at the start of tournament week, the Clinton Foundation will host its second annual Health Matters: Activating Wellness in Every Generation conference, the anchor event for the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), bringing together national and community leaders to identify strategies for promoting and improving individual health.

Tickets (beginning at $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 and connect to the tournament's sites on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HumanaChallenge) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/HumanaChallenge/@HumanaChallenge).

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.

About Humana Inc.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health care company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company's web site at www.humana.com.

About the William J. Clinton Foundation
Building on a lifetime of public service, President Bill Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private citizens to turn good intentions into measurable results. Since 2001, President Clinton's vision and leadership have resulted in nearly 5 million people benefiting from lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment; more than 15,000 U.S. schools building healthier learning environments; more than 33,000 micro-entrepreneurs, small business owners, and smallholder farmers improving their livelihoods and communities; and more than 248 million tons of CO2 being reduced in cities around the world. And President Clinton has redefined the way we think about giving and philanthropy through his Clinton Global Initiative, whose members have made more than 2,300 commitments that are improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit clintonfoundation.org, read our blog at clintonfoundation.org/upclose, and follow us on Twitter @ClintonTweet and Facebook at Facebook.com/BillClinton.

About_Desert_Classic_Charities
Since its inception, Desert Classic Charities, the charitable entity that organizes the Humana Challenge, has contributed more than $52 million to the Eisenhower Medical Center and surrounding Coachella Valley nonprofit organizations. Its scope of giving is broad and includes structured and mentoring programs for children, social services, and food and safe shelter for the less fortunate. Desert Classic Charities is dedicated to continuing its mission to serve human needs in the Coachella Valley and beyond by generating funds and opportunities through the Humana Challenge.

About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world's premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. The PGA TOUR's mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.

Greg Ball
Account Executive
Brener Zwikel & Associates
Office: 818-462-5611
Cell: 760-271-9183
gregb@bzapr.com



 
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