This Week in Golf -- Jan. 17 through Jan. 20

PGA TOUR - HUMANA CHALLENGE, PGA West (Palmer Course & Nicklaus Private) & La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, California -- The PGA Tour heads to the California desert this week for the annual shootout in La Quinta.

Mark Wilson went low last year as he won by two strokes after posting a total of 24-under 264. He birdied the final three holes to seal the win. The victory was his fifth on the PGA Tour.

Wilson fired a 10-under 62 in the second round en route to the win. His title came in the first year that the event was shortened to 72 holes after being a 90-hole event for 52 years.

Last year marked just the second time in the last 10 years that the winner failed to reach 25-under par. The course records at this week's venues are 59 (Palmer Course) and 61 for the other two courses.

The field this week gets a boost from the season debut of Phil Mickelson. Also competing will be FedExCup winner Brandt Snedeker and reigning U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson.

Mickelson a two-time winner of this event is among 13 former champions competing. Every winner since 2002 is scheduled to compete this week.

The first three rounds are spread over three courses and is played in a pro-am format. Among the notable amateurs competing are Carson Daly, Ahmad Rashad, baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and former NFL star Eric Dickerson.

Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds.

The PGA Tour heads to La Jolla next week for the Farmers Insurance Open, where Tiger Woods will make his PGA Tour debut. Snedeker, who was eight shots back early in the final round, rallied to beat Kyle Stanley in a playoff after Stanley triple-bogeyed the final hole to fall into the playoff.


ABU DHABI HSBC GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, United Arab Emirates -- The European Tour heads to Abu Dhabi this week and the event will be the first tournament of the year for Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, the top two players in the world.

McIlroy made big news this week as he officially signed with Nike, whose clubs Woods also uses. Adding to the star power in this week's field will be world No. 5 Justin Rose and No. 11 Jason Dufner.

That quartet will be looking to take the title away from Robert Rock. The Englishman held off McIlroy and Woods down the stretch last year. The win was Rock's second on the European Tour.

Woods had shared the third-round lead with Rock, but closed with a 72 to end two back. McIlroy posted a 3-under 69 in the final round to finish one back at 12-under.

Golf Channel will have extensive coverage of all four rounds.

The European Tour shifts to Doha next week for the Qatar Masters, where Paul Lawrie won by four strokes last year when the event was cut to 54 holes after wind caused Friday's play to be cut short.


MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CHAMPIONSHIP AT HUALALAI, Hualalai Golf Course, Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii -- The 2013 Champions Tour season kicks off on Friday with a 40-man field.

Last year, Dan Forsman carded three rounds in the 60s to earn a 2-stroke victory over Jay Don Blake. The title was his third on the Champions Tour.

The field this week include Steve Elkington, Hale Irwin, Loren Roberts and David Frost.

Elkington is making his tour debut, while Irwin is making his 18th consecutive appearance at this tournament. Roberts set a record for birdies made (26) here in 2006. Frost starts the year carrying a streak of 200 consecutive holes without a 3-putt.

Look for plenty of birdies this week as Hualalai has been the easiest course on the Champions Tour nine of the last 10 years.

The Golf Channel will have coverage of all three rounds.

After a two-week break, the Champions Tour will return to action in Florida with the Allianz Championship, where Corey Pavin was a playoff winner over Peter Senior last year.