Woods, Mickelson make 2008 debuts

Jan. 23, 2008 at 9:28 PM

LA JOLLA, Calif., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will make their 2008 debuts Thursday in the opening round of the Buick Invitational.

Woods, eight times a winner of the PGA Player of the Year award, will be trying to win this tournament for the fourth straight year.

The event is played at Torrey Pines, which also will be the site of this summer's U.S. Open.

Prior to playing in his first tournament of the year, Woods said on his Web site that he felt the Grand Slam was "easily within reason" in 2008.

"He's obviously a very confident player and he should be," said Phil Mickelson, who begins his season ranked second in the world behind Woods. "He's won countless events and double-digit majors. So he should be confident."

Woods will begin play at 9 a.m. local time Thursday in a threesome that includes George McNeill and Jim Furyk. Mickelson will start 10 minutes earlier and will be paired with Jeff Maggert and K.C. Choi.

After the first three weeks of the season, Choi is the tour's leading money winner.

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