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Lee Westwood is making his first start in the event. He also played last week at Torrey Pines, in part because of the tour’s new wraparound schedule.

“Normally, I would go play the Middle East swing. I would go and play Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Dubai or two of those three,” the Englishman said. “I decided not to go this year and wanted to play a few more events in the States.

“If you don’t play these, then you’re giving up a big start, because they have played six before the season, so it started last year. So it’s like a quarter of the schedule gone if you don’t start until Pebble or L.A., so it makes sense to play a couple of these.”

Mickelson’s decision to play cost Ryo Ishikawa a spot in the field. The Japanese player tied for seventh last week at Torrey Pines, but didn’t get into the Phoenix Open as a top-10 finisher because the field was full before that entry category.