Anders Hansen turns down PGA Tour opportunity
Anders Hansen has turned down the opportunity to play full-time on the PGA Tour after promising his children he would remain based in Europe.
The 41-year-old secured enough winnings in just three events in July and August to finish well inside the Top-125 on the 2011 PGA Tour money list, allowing him the right to full membership of the sport’s most lucrative circuit.
The Swiss-based Dane earned around $800,000 from his 16th place at the British Open, 29th at the WGC-Bridgestone and a major-event best third place at the following week’s PGA Championship in Altanta.
“I was very tempted to take up PGA Tour membership and after finishing third in the PGA Championship in Atlanta, I had more than enough money to qualify,” Hansen told Reuters.
“But while I would have liked to play at least one season in the States, I just felt it would be too hard to play both tours as it’s a lot of travelling back and forth.
“In my private situation, that would unfair to my family and I feel I would just also wear myself out.”
Hansen admitted age was also a factor in the decision to remain loyal to the European Tour.
“If I was maybe 26 or 27, or even 30 years old, then I would take up the membership, but being 41 is a little more difficult,” he added.
“It would no doubt mean moving the family to the States and I would not want to do that. It’s just too much of a hassle.
“And besides, my world ranking at present of 31 will get me into all the majors and World Golf Championships (WGC) events next year.
“I will try and obtain invitations to a couple of events ahead of the majors but playing the PGA Tour full time is something that I have declined to accept.”
Hansen is returning to competition at this week’s World Cup after a head and chest cold forced him out of last week’s Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia.
“I’m fine this week but I had a very bad head and chest cold last week with my head spinning. It’s something I picked up from being in and out of air-conditioning the week before in Singapore,” he said.
However, the two-man Danish side has been weakened by the withdrawal of Thomas Bjorn due to a recurrence of a neck injury.
Bjorn has won three times in Europe this year and his place has been taken by 21-year old rookie Thorbjorn Olesen, who was runner-up at this year’s Italian and French Opens.
“It’s disappointing Thomas had to withdraw but Thorbjorn is an exciting young player,” Hansen added. “I have played this event seven times before and this is his debut for Denmark.
“So it would be good for him to get the experience.”