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Parnevik turns back on Europe for 2000

Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik has officially quit the European Tour for this year. 

Parnevik, who rose to ninth in the world rankings after winning the U.S. PGA Tour's Bob Hope Classic on Sunday, has decided to focus on the U.S. this
year rather than split his time between tours. 

"Two years ago I started feeling tired flying back and forth and last year I didn't have a choice because I wanted to qualify for the Ryder Cup, but I really felt
worn out at the end of the year," Parnevik said as he prepared for the Phoenix Open.

"I always enjoyed playing in Europe but I wanted one year to give myself a chance to play more than 15 or 20 tournaments (on the U.S. Tour), to see where I can finish on the money list." 

The reason Parnevik has decided to focus on the United States this year is because there is no Ryder Cup in 2000. 

However, he plans to rejoin the European Tour next year so that he will be eligible for the 2001 Ryder Cup. 

European Tour players must contest 11 tournaments on that tour to retain membership and Parnevik decided he could not commit to such a number. 

"There is a rule that says you could be banned for two years if you don't fill the 11 tournament quota, so I decided to postpone my membership a year,"
he continued. 

Parnevik, 34, who joined the U.S. Tour in 1994, is particularly disappointed that the European Tour has changed the eligibility requirements for August's
NEC Invitational. 

Last year's inaugural event was restricted to members of the latest-named Ryder and Presidents Cup teams. 

However, the European Tour, under the leadership of Ken Schofield, has deemed that this year's European participants will be picked off its money list, a decision that ensures Parnevik's exclusion. 

"It's one way of keeping the guys in Europe," said Parnevik. "That's Ken's job. I've got nothing against him but of course I'm disappointed he changed the

"The whole idea of that tournament was to have the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams play against each other in a stroke play event." 

Parnevik is one of the major attractions at the Phoenix Open, along with American David Duval and Spaniard Sergio Garcia

"The way I'm playing right now is probably as good as I've felt the last five years. My iron game is probably as good as it's ever been," Parnevik said.


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