Mickelson grouped with Wise at Desert Classic
The PGA Tour heads back to the mainland this week, as Palm Springs plays host to the Desert Classic where several of the game’s bigger names will take their shot at the three-course rotation. Here’s a look at some of the marquee, early-round groupings in California as Phil Mickelson makes his 2019 debut on familiar territory (all times ET):
11:40 a.m. (La Quinta), 1:20 p.m. (Nicklaus), 12:50 p.m. (Stadium) Justin Rose, Zach Johnson
Rose returns to Palm Springs for the first time since 2010, and he does so as the top-ranked player in the world. This will mark his first start of the new year, and first with some new equipment in the bag. Playing alongside him is Johnson, a two-time major champ who finished T-3 at this event back in 2014 thanks to a final-round 62.
12:10 p.m. (La Quinta), 11:40 a.m. (Nicklaus), 1:20 p.m. (Stadium): Phil Mickelson, Aaron Wise
Mickelson hasn’t hit a competitive shot since pocketing $9 million from his Thanksgiving match with Tiger Woods. He’ll make his 16th career start in the desert, and fifth in a row, at a tournament he won in both 2002 and 2004. Mickelson will play the first three rounds alongside Wise, the reigning Rookie of the Year who earned his first career win in May at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Full-field tee times from the Desert Classic
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12:40 p.m. (La Quinta), 12:10 p.m. (Nicklaus), 11:40 a.m. (Stadium): Pat Perez, Danny Willett
This week marks the 10-year anniversary of Perez’s breakthrough performance, a victory that served as his lone PGA Tour title until 2016. He’ll be paired with a former Masters champ in Willett, who won the European Tour’s season finale in Dubai and now will be making his first start since as he looks to get his 2019 PGA Tour campaign off the ground.
1:20 p.m. (La Quinta), 12:50 p.m. (Nicklaus), 12:20 p.m. (Stadium): Jon Rahm, Chez Reavie
Rahm beat both Andrew Landry and darkness a year ago, lifting the trophy after a four-hole playoff that nearly stretched to Monday morning. The Spaniard returns this week to defend his title, and he’ll play the first three rounds alongside Reavie who contended at last week’s Sony Open and vaulted up the leaderboard thanks in part to a third-round effort that included hole-out eagles on three different par-4s.