Mickelson to open ’14 with Abu Dhabi, not Humana

Phil Mickelson has kicked off a new year by playing the Humana Challenge in each of the past two seasons.

This year, however, Mickelson will skip the La Quinta, Calif., event in favor of playing in Abu Dhabi.

Mickelson will begin 2014 in a different desert as he tees it up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on Jan. 16-19, the same week as Humana. It will be the first time since 2011 that Mickelson has played in the tournament.

The Abu Dhabi event is the first of three straight European Tour events in the United Arab Emirates, but Mickelson is only expected to play the first one before making the trek back to California the following week to play the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose are among the other names in the field for Abu Dhabi. Notably absent is Tiger Woods, who has played the event in each of the past two seasons but will opt instead to play the Dubai Desert Classic.

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