In Other Golf News

2021 American Express tee times

In his 1st start of the new year, Phil Mickelson will pull double duty as tournament host of PGA Tour's annual stop in California desert

American Phil Mickelson will be making his first start of the new year this week at the PGA Tour’s American Express while working overtime in La Quinta, Calif.

Mickelson, a two-time champion of the event formerly known as the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, also will serve as tournament host in the first of five stops on the PGA Tour's West Coast Swing. He will be looking for his 45th career victory but his first in nearly two years, though he won twice last year on the Champions Tour.

Mickelson will be paired with American Patrick Cantlay, who is 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking and the highest-ranked player in the field. Fan favorite Rickie Fowler also will be in the group, which will start at 9:50 a.m. PST Thursday from the 10th tee at PGA West’s Stadium Course (tee times).

Three other players among the top 15 in the world, all of them Americans, were entered: No. 11 Patrick Reed, No. 12 Brooks Koepka and No. 15 Matthew Wolff.

American Kevin Na, who won the recent Sony Open in Hawaii to improve to No. 23 in the world, was listed.

D.J. Trahan withdrew after he tested positive for COVID-19. He was replaced by first alternate Michael Gellerman. World No. 2 Jon Rahm withdrew Monday, with no reason cited.

John Augenstein, the runner-up in the 2019 U.S. Amateur, will be making his professional debut. He played on the Americans’ victorious 2019 Walker Cup team and was named the 2020 Southeastern Conference player of the year at Vanderbilt. Augenstein made the cut in the 2020 Masters, tying for 55th.

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