x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Stenson looks at return to the US Tour

Henrik Stenson is giving serious thought to becoming a member of the US Tour again next year - even with his wife due to give birth to their second child in February.

Henrik Stenson is preparing for a return in today's Mercedes-Benz Championship today.
Henrik Stenson is preparing for a return in today's Mercedes-Benz Championship today.

Henrik Stenson is giving serious thought to becoming a member of the US Tour again next year - even with his wife due to give birth to their second child in February. Sweden's world No 6, the highest-ranked player in the Mercedes-Benz Championship starting in Cologne today, gave up his membership at the end of 2007.

But Stenson, who lives in Dubai, said it was "most likely" he would be signing up once more. He and Lee Westwood ? his playing partner this afternoon ? are the only members of the world's top 10 not taking part in the FedEx Cup play-offs, the third leg of which is in Chicago this week. "I didn't join the last two seasons, because for me it was about finding the right balance on how many events I wanted to play," he said.

"With so many long trips and time differences, I felt 25 was a good number - it made it easy to play. "I still want to keep it around that, so I'll have to look at how many I play on each side of the Atlantic." Stenson returns to action today from a three-week break. He will also be playing for Continental Europe against Britain and Ireland at the Vivendi Trophy in Paris in two weeks but then plans to take most of October off.

That is because he wants to be fresh for a busy end of the year - the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, the Dubai World Championship and then his defence of both the World Cup in China and Nedbank Challenge in South Africa. Westwood, currently ranked 10th in the world, has told Britain and Ireland captain Paul McGinley he is unavailable for the Vivendi Trophy. McGinley is also preparing himself to be without Irishman Padraig Harrington, plus Englishmen Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and maybe Paul Casey as well because of their possible involvement in the Tour Championship. "It means a lot to qualify and play, but you can't play every week," said Westwood.

"I'm 36 now. At 26, I could play a lot more. "I had the intention of playing, but it's just a sensible week for me to take off now. The winnings don't count towards the money list. "There's the possibility of playing 36 holes a day and now I've got a completely free week to work on my game." * PA Sport