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Webb Simpson commits to Phoenix Open, giving event 21 of top 50 in world ranking

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Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the 10th hole of the north course during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Associated Press

Webb Simpson committed to play the Phoenix Open on Friday, giving the tournament 21 of the top 50 players in the world ranking.

Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, is ranked 19th.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, at No. 4, is the top-ranked player entered in the event that begins Thursday at TPC Scottsdale. The former Arizona State star, also the 1996 and 2005 winner, has fought back in the Farmers Insurance Open this week at Torrey Pines, leaving his status uncertain.

No. 12 Ian Poulter also is set to play along with No. 14 Brandt Snedeker, No. 22 Keegan Bradley (22), No. 24 Hideki Matsuyama, No. 26 Lee Westwood, No. 28 Bill Haas, No. 30 Bubba Watson, No. 33 Ryan Moore, No. 34 Nick Watney, No. 35 Hunter Mahan, No. 36 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, No. 38 Kevin Streelman, No. 39 Graham DeLaet, No. 40 Billy Horschel, No. 41 Patrick Reed, No. 44 Martin Kaymer, No. 46 Harris English, No. 48 Jonas Blixt and No. 49 Chris Kirk. Reed won the Humana Challenge last week in La Quinta, Calif.

Former LSU star John Peterson received the last of five sponsor exemptions Friday, following Kevin Tway, Ricky Barnes, Joe Ogilvie and Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Local instructor Paul Trittler earned the Southwest Section of the PGA's spot by winning the section title.

Three spots are available in qualifying Monday at McCormick Ranch.

Michael Putnam tops the alternates list, followed by Ryo Ishikawa and Russell Knox.