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Henrik Stenson defends rejoining the PGA Tour
January 28, 2010

World number eight Henrik Stenson defended on Wednesday his decision to rejoin the U.S. PGA Tour this year.

The Swede first joined the PGA Tour in 2007, competing in 15 events and finishing 39th on the FedExCup list. Stenson let his membership lapse in 2008 and 2009 but still won the prestigious Players Championship last May, the biggest victory of his career.

Now he has rejoined the PGA Tour, indicating he will contest the minimum 15 events while also satisfying European Tour membership by playing 12 Race to Dubai-counting tournaments.

“I’ve taken up membership this season so I will spend most of the spring and summer in America until the later part of the season,” Stenson told reporters on the eve of the Qatar Masters.

“There were a couple of different reasons but family-wise it’s convenient to be based over there and have the family in the States and also, all of the big events are in America, from the Accenture Match Play (next month) until the U.S. Open (in June).

“I felt it was time to take up membership again. Great tournaments, great weather and great competition so it’s got a lot going for it but obviously Europe is still my home tour and I’ll be making a few visits here and there,” said the 33-year-old. Stenson rejected the notion he was pressurised to rejoin the PGA Tour after winning their flagship tournament.

“No, there was no pressure on me even though they obviously would like to see the winner of the Players be a member,” he said.

“It was completely up to me. I would almost say it was 90 percent in my mind I would have taken up membership given also that last year was the last year of my exemption from my (Accenture) Match Play win in 2007.”

Stenson, who has joined Britain’s Rory McIlroy by committing to the 2010 PGA Tour, is among nine of the world’s top-20 playing in Qatar this week.

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