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After spotting peers a head start, Henrik Stenson ready to kick-start season

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Scott Brown is making his 15th start of the PGA Tour season this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

At the other end of the spectrum, Bay Hill is Henrik Stenson’s second start of the season.

Stenson admits it’s not the best competitive choice to spot the rest of the Tour so many starts, but he needed the break.

“That’s been the tough thing over the years, especially playing two tours. We don’t really have much of an off-season. It’s something that’s needed both for players and possibly the fans as well,” the Swede said. “We see that in other sports. I can see the excitement of my friends that are keen on football, the lead up to the season. You actually get to miss something, both for us as players and for fans.”

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Full-field tee times | Full coverage

Stenson last played a Tour event in November in China and has played just three tournaments, all on the European Tour, this year which has added up to nearly two months of glorious inactivity.

It’s the longest break of Stenson’s career since he joined the PGA Tour in 2007 and it was a much-needed break after so many seasons of playing a yearlong schedule. But all that doesn’t help his competitive fortunes against the likes of Brown.

“I’m starting my PGA Tour season and some guys could have played 15, 20 events already,” he said. “I guess my 20th [place finish] in China doesn’t really keep up with somebody who has played 15 weeks. You definitely feel like you are starting way far back in the pack when you’re starting the season this late.”

Things will get more intense for Stenson now as he’s scheduled to play the next four weeks as he prepares for the Masters.