Palmer, 72, is a five-time Classic winner and has played in 41 of the previous 42 events. Last year, he shot a 1-under-par 71 at the Arnold Palmer Course at PGA West to become the first player in Classic history to shoot his age. Palmer last won the event in 1973, but has returned every year with the exception of 1997, when he missed the tournament because of prostate cancer surgery.
Mickelson will be making his fourth Classic appearance. He missed the cut in 1993 and '94 and finished 16th in 2000.
This is expected to be the 19-time tour winners first start in 2002, as he may skip the Mercedes Championships and the Sony Open in Hawaii. This tournament has been moved up on the calendar; last year it was played in middle February.
Other players making early commitments to the event include defending champion Joe Durant, 2000 winner Jesper Parnevik, Mark Calcavecchia, Stewart Cink and two-time winner John Cook.
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