Eleven months ago, Lehman kick-started his season with a victory at the inaugural (and unofficial) event in his hometown of Scottsdale, Ariz. Now he's back in the Golden State, trying to accomplish one of the rare feats in golf - winning the same event twice in a calendar year.
Lehman is one of 12 who are vying for the $1 million first-place check. Joining the defending champion are Fred Couples, David Duval, Sergio Garcia, Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Mark O'Meara, Jesper Parnevik, Vijay Singh, Hal Sutton, and the tournament host, Tiger Woods.
January's Williams World Challenge was everything that Tiger's 2000 season was not. He shot 76 in the final round to finish at 2-over-par, 10th in the 12-man field. In the 21 worldwide events that followed, Tiger won ten times and collected over $9.5 million in earnings. He never finished an event over par, and recorded 55 consecutive rounds at par or better - a streak that is still intact.
Lehman's year wasn't as spectacular, but after going two full seasons without a victory, it was rewarding. Less than a month removed from his WWC victory, Lehman captured the Phoenix Open, his first title since the 1997 Standard Life Loch Lomond. The victory was one of seven top-10s on the year. Along the way, Lehman moved from 22nd on the Official World Golf Ranking to 10th.
December's field includes nine of 12 original participants. Parnevik, Couples and Cink are replacing Paul Lawrie, John Huston and Phil Mickelson.
In case you're wondering - and you probably are - Williams refers to a company that, according to its brochure, has the 'second largest U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline system.'
Charitable contributions from the tournament go to the Tiger Woods Foundation, which promotes junior golf programs, particularly among disadvantaged youths.
What are your thoughts on the Williams World Challenge?
Is it serious competition or just for fun?