Kim-Villegas among featured groups at Humana Challenge

January 18, 2012
Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

The career paths of Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas have looked very similar in recent years.

In 2008, Kim won two PGA TOUR events. Villegas also won two events that year.

After being shut out in 2009, Kim won his third TOUR event in 2010. Same for Villegas.

Last year, both players struggled to get themselves in contention. Kim had a career-low two top-10 finishes; Villegas matched his career-low with four.

Tee times
Tee times for Anthony Kim-Camilo Villegas are below. Click here for all tee times

But the good news is that both players are still young -- Kim is 26, Villegas just turned 30 -- and their futures look bright as they make their 2012 season debuts this week at the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.

Kim and Villegas will be paired together for the first three days of the tournament, along with a rotating set of amateur partners. The two pros each begin this year looking for a bounce-back season.

For Kim, the new season should provide a fresh chance to finally get past the injury problems that have plagued him, most notably the surgery on his left thumb during the 2010 season.

It's also a chance for Kim to play in his hometown event. A former high school start in La Quinta, Kim is making his first start in this event since 2008 when he finished tied for third.

For Villegas, it's a chance to start the season on a better note than he did last year, when he was disqualified from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for an inadvertent rules violation after the opening round.

Kim-Villegas tee times
Tee times for first three rounds for Anthony Kim/Camilo Villegas. They'll play with different amateur partners each day
Round 1
11:50 a.m. ET
Nicklaus Private
Round 2
12:20 p.m. ET
Palmer Private
Round 3
12:50 p.m. ET
La Quinta
More featured groups
11:50 a.m. ET No. 1, LaQuinta CC
Mickelson has won this event twice; in 2004, he made 37 birdies at the then-90 hole event

12:20 p.m. ET No. 1., LaQuinta CC
Norman is making his first start in this event since 1986; on Saturday, his amateur partner will be former President Clinton

12:20 p.m. ET No. 10, Nicklaus Course
Haas, the reigning FedExCup champion, won his first TOUR event here two years ago

11:50 a.m. ET No. 1, Palmer Course
Vegas, the defending champ, beat Gary Woodland in a playoff here last year

The Humana Challenge should fit their games well, as the event generally requires a lot of birdies. In 2008, Villegas finished fifth on TOUR in birdie average; a year later, Kim finished tied for second in birdie average.