Change in Match Play date alters Stenson's schedule

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PALM HARBOR, Fla. – The evolving WGC-Match Play, which bolted the West Coast swing this season for a new venue and date the week before The Players, has had an interesting trickle-down effect for some tournaments and players.

Take Henrik Stenson, for example. Moving the Match Play to later in the year gave him an opportunity to tinker with his schedule this season with the Swede adding this week’s Valspar Championship and dropping the Honda Classic.

“I played Honda a few times. I don’t dislike the course, [but] I haven’t done anything good there,” said Stenson, who is playing the Tampa Bay-area stop for the first time.

Stenson, who made his PGA Tour season debut last week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, took a month off after opening his year with three events in the Middle East on the European Tour.

The break prompted Stenson to alter his normal schedule and he’d heard many players rave about the Innisbrook layout.

“If I have a good week here and like this week, which it seems, then this might be on the schedule for every year,” he said. “You never know. It could be a bit of a turn around.”