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Stenson to play Wyndham, eyes playoff boost

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Wyndham Championship, wedged between the PGA Championship and the start of the PGA Tour’s playoffs, may not have the best date on paper but in recent years the post-season has created interesting opportunities for the Greensboro, N.C., event.

Next week, for example, the field will include the likes of world No. 8 Henrik Stenson, who recently added the event to his schedule to assure he ends up with his minimum number of Tour starts (15).

This week’s PGA Championship is Stenson’s 12th start of the season and at 84th on the playoff points list he’s assured a start at the first two post-season stops, but not the third or fourth.

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“When I make my schedule I schedule for three [playoff events], obviously I want to make it to the Tour Championship, but if you put four on your schedule you’re putting a lot of pressure on having a really solid year,” said Stenson, who has played the Wyndham Championship three times. “I’ve always had it as a bit of a backup for me in a sense.”

Martin Kaymer had a similar situation in 2015, when he failed to qualify for the post-season and managed just 13 starts to lose his Tour status, which he has not regained.

Next week’s event will also give Stenson, who won the season-long race in 2013 and finished runner-up in 2015, a chance to pad his position on the points list. In ’13, he started the post-season ninth on the points list, but he made his run two years later after starting the playoffs at 41st.

“It guaranteed my 15 [starts], but it also gives me a chance to move up a little bit and position myself a little better before the playoffs start,” Stenson said. “I think I’ve shown you can either win or get close to winning the playoffs through different scenarios.”