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Mickelson to miss season opening event

Masters champion Phil Mickelson has decided to skip the winners-only Mercedes Championships at Kapalua to start the new season, instead making his 2005 debut in the Buick Invitational near his hometown of San Diego.

Mickelson is a two-time winner of the Mercedes when it was played at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif. This will be the second straight time he has skipped Kapalua. He also didn't play in 2003, and he wasn't eligible this year.

That leaves the Mercedes with 31 players when the PGA Tour season begins Jan. 6.

Once the Tour reaches the mainland Jan. 20 at Torrey Pines, Mickelson will play five of the next six tournaments through the Ford Championship at Doral. The only one he will skip is the Nissan Open at Riviera.

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