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Mickelson to defend GHO title in July

Phil Mickelson made it official Monday: He'll shoot for a threepeat in the Greater Hartford Open.

Mickelson, the GHO's first back-to-back winner, committed to play in the $4 million tournament July 24-27 at the TPC at River Highlands in Cromwell.

Last year, Mickelson birdied the 18th hole for a one-stroke victory over Jonathan Kaye and Davis Love III, the leading moneywinner this season after winning the MCI Heritage for the fifth time Sunday.

"I have a very special place in my heart for the Greater Hartford Open," Mickelson said in a statement released by the Greater Hartford Jaycees, whose sole fund-raiser is the GHO. "I love the support the community gives the event and the TPC at River Highlands. The course has great risk/reward possibilities, especially on the back side, which often leads to exciting finishes. I'll be giving it my all in trying to capture a third consecutive title there."

Mickelson has five top-10 finishes in seven starts this year, including finishing third in the Masters a third consecutive year, and he is 15th on the money list with $967,975. He has 21 PGA Tour victories and is third in career earnings ($23,117,944) behind Tiger Woods and Love, a winner of three tournaments in 2003.

Mickelson, who became a father for the third time March 23 with the birth of his son, Evan Samuel, has had two previous chances to threepeat. He won the Phoenix Open in 1995 and '96, then tied for 13th in '97. He won the Buick Invitational in 2000 and '01, then missed the cut last year.



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