Stricker, Mickelson headline field for 2010 CA Championship

March 05, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

DORAL, Fla. -- Phil Mickelson is set to defend his title at next week's World Golf Championships-CA Championship. The field was finalized Friday afternoon, with 64 of the world's best players from 19 countries ready to compete March 9-14, at TPC Blue Monster at Doral, at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.

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A handful of players can play their way into the CA Championship over the weekend. They'll need to move within the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking or the top 10 in the 2010 FedExCup point standings to earn a trip to Doral Golf Resort & Spa.

Those committed to the event include 48 of the top 50 players from the Official World Golf Ranking released on March 1, 2010, including No. 2 ranked Steve Stricker; No. 3 ranked Mickelson; a trio of Englishmen ranked Nos. 4-6 in world in Lee Westwood (No. 4), Ian Poulter, who won the first World Golf Championships event of the year (No. 5) and Paul Casey (No. 6), who was runner up to Poulter at the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Other qualification categories in addition to the top 50 in the world include the top 30 from the final 2009 FedExCup standings, the top 20 from the 2009 Race to Dubai standings, the top two from the Order of Merits of the Japan Tour, Asian Tour, Australasian Tour and Sunshine Tour as well the top 10 in the current Race to Dubai Standings.

Of those who qualified for the CA Championship, only Tiger Woods and Ryo Ishikawa are not competing. Ishikawa, who won his first Japan Golf Tour event as a 15-year-old amateur, will be graduating from his high school, Suginami Gakuin, in Japan on March 8.

Mickelson went 26 tries without winning a World Golf Championships event before defeating Nick Watney by one stroke at last year's event. It didn't take long for Mickelson to win his next World Golf Championships as he captured the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai in November, the event's first year as part of the World Golf Championships series.

"It's very cool to win these events," Mickelson said. "I didn't know how cool it would be, because these events were fairly new. But now that they have been around for almost, I guess, 10 years now, their status continues to grow in the game, and to finally win a couple is important to my career I believe."

The HSBC Champions win moved Mickelson to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking (where he remained until Feb. 7, 2010, when Stricker won the Northern Trust Open) and to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings (where he would finish the year).

Mickelson is making his first World Golf Championships appearance of the 2010 season, having skipped the Accenture Match Play Championship due to family commitments.

"I am looking forward to the World Golf Championships-CA Championship, and I love the World Golf Championships events," Mickelson said. "I'm sorry I missed (the Accenture Match Play Championship). I love them; I think they are some of our more exciting events.

"Unfortunately we had a change in plans in our treatment schedule and we had to have some treatment done next week, and it was during our family trip and so we had to move it up."

So far this year, Mickelson's best performance is a tie for eighth at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He finished tied for 45th in his first of four title defenses of the year, at the Northern Trust Open.

"I'm excited to get back to playing, and I'm really excited to getting back to Doral," he said. "It's a golf course I've always enjoyed and loved; not played as well as I would like until last year where I finally broke through for a win, and I was very excited to do so and had a great 36-hole finish there playing with Nick Watney."