Phil Mickelson claimed his third title at Torrey Pines ' and his second in as many years ' by winning a bizarre playoff over Davis Love III and Frank Lickliter.
Love was first ousted. Mickelson then bettered Lickliter on the second extra hole ' with a double bogey. Both men lost their tee shots, and when Lickliter three-putted from 15 feet, Mickelson had his 18th career PGA Tour title.
Lickliter would redeem himself nearly four months later by winning his first tour event at the Kemper Open.
Mickelsons back for No. 4 in 2002. Hes making only his third start of the season ' winning the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and missing the cut in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Tiger Woods, the 1999 Buick Invitational champion, is also in the field. Woods is in search of his first tour victory since the WGC-NEC Invitational in August.
Pebble Beach champion Matt Gogel is not in attendance. He withdrew Monday after returning home to Mission Hills, Kan. A winter storm caused severe damage to some houses in the Mission Hills area. According to Buick officials, Gogel, his wife and daughter went home to assess any possible damage to their own house.
Last week's runner-up, Pat Perez, did make the trip back home. Perez is in comfortable surroundings this week, having grown up playing the Torrey Pines courses. In fact, his father is one of the official starters.
Others in the field include Lee Janzen, who finished tied for third last week, Jesper Parnevik, Vijay Singh and John Daly.
The purse is $3,600,000, with $648,000 going to the winner.
Two courses, the North and the South, are played over each of the first two days. The South Course is the host venue, and will be played exclusively in the third and final rounds.
The South Course will have a new look to even the most familiar eyes. The course has been lengthened from 7,055 to 7,607 yards, making it the longest layout on the PGA Tour this season - though it will play in the neighborhood of 7,200 yards this week.
This is the 50th anniversary of the event. It was first played in 1952 (there was no tournament in 1958).
Buick Open Statistical Preview