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Will Phil find success at his first tourney of 2007?

1/17/2007 - Golf

Can't get enough PGA Tour golf? Good news for you. This week's Bob Hope Classic is an annual five-round event, which means one extra day of watching the action from the desert.

Phil Mickelson makes his much-awaited season debut, looking for a third career win at this event. Can he do it? Our experts make their predictions on the year's first event on the U.S. mainland.


Phil Mickelson. Lefty has won the Hope twice.

Desert golf? Lots of birdies? Someone wake up Mark Calcavecchia. This is his kind of event.

Another tournament where hitting it long and not necessarily straight is a good thing for Charles Howell III. He'll come in motivated after giving away the Sony.

Phil Mickelson usually plays his best golf early in the year, has won this event twice in the last five years and has only one finish outside the top six in that same time.

Birdie Buster

In his victories in 2002 and 2004, Phil Mickelson dominated the par-5s and can go low in any round with wide-open fairways and perfect greens.

Joe Durant loves to go low at birdie-fests and that's what this tourney amounts to.

Boo Weekley will simply overpower a lot of holes, but make enough mistakes to neutralize that advantage.

Jesper Parnevik has a pretty good track record here with two top-5s and a win in the last seven years. He also ranks third on tour in birdie average this season.

Super Sleeper

2001 winner Joe Durant won Disney in October, which also has a pro-am format.

You might not know much about Boo Weekley, but the dude's a greens-in-regulation machine.

A past champion with a 59 in this tournament, David Duval could take all pressure off the rest of his year with an early strong showing -- and a big paycheck.

Kevin Stadler showed the ability to go low -- something you absolutely need here -- in a pair of Nationwide wins last year. He did post a fourth-round 64 at the Hope in 2005.

Winner

2003 Hope winner Mike Weir rebounds and gets his first victory since 2004.

Forgetting that final-hole par at the Sony will be easy for Charles Howell III when he follows it with a victory.

After a U.S. Open hangover in the second half of 2006, Phil Mickelson reminds us he is the most resilient and one of the most talented players of his generation.

Phil Mickelson didn't just sit around on the couch in the offseason. He'll rev up the Tiger-Phil buzz by getting his first win before the world's No. 1 even tees it up this season.