LONDON (REUTERS) - British Open winner Phil Mickelson will launch his campaign next year by returning to the Abu Dhabi Championship for the first time since 2011.
The world No. 4, who said last week that he would be making unspecified cuts to his schedule in 2014, is to join Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Luke Donald in a strong field at the US$2.7 million (S$3.35 million) European Tour event in the Gulf between Jan 16-19.
"To play Abu Dhabi in the early part of the year is a great opportunity," Mickelson said in a news release on Tuesday. "I've wanted to return since my first time there in 2011. The golf course and facilities are outstanding and the quality of the field and the good weather make it a great place to start my season."
Five-time Major winner Mickelson plans to play the week before each of the big four championships next year.
The 43-year-old American said last week that he would compete in Houston before the Masters, in Memphis ahead of the US Open, in Scotland before the British Open and in Akron ahead of the US PGA Championship.
Mickelson has clearly given particular thought to his preparations for the US Open, the only Major missing from his collection and a tournament where he has been runner-up six times.
Victory at the Pinehurst No. 2 course in June would make him only the sixth player to complete the modern Grand Slam.