Phil Mickelson to start 2012 PGA Tour at La Quinta

California: Phil Mickelson will launch his 2012 PGA Tour campaign at this month`s Humana Challenge in La Quinta, California, the four-times major champion said on Friday.

The American left-hander is the leading all-time money winner at the 90-hole pro-am celebrity event, previously known as the Bob Hope Classic, and clinched the title in 2002 and 2004.

"Some of my best seasons have come after starting at this event and I`m really excited about coming back again," Mickelson, a 39-times PGA Tour winner, said in a statement.

The former world number two has not played in the tournament since 2007 but was persuaded to return for this year`s edition, which will be the first held in partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation established by the former U.S. president.

"I`m honoured to join President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for the Humana Challenge," Mickelson said. "I admire President Clinton and the charitable work of his Foundation, which helps millions of people around the world."

Mickelson, whose world ranking has slipped to 14th, will join previous winners Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela (2011) and Americans Bill Haas (2010), Chad Campbell (2006) and Justin Leonard (2005) at the January 18-22 event.

Bureau Report