Doha: Robert Karlsson begins a new chapter in his career next month when he and his family move to North Carolina as the veteran Swedish golfer attempts to become a US PGA Tour rookie of the year at the age of 41.
The 2008 European number one has made many short forays across the Atlantic but he has always wanted to give the circuit a prolonged try and this year has taken out PGA Tour membership for the first time.
"I joined the US Tour because it`s something I wanted to do, rather than end my career by not becoming a member and then saying to myself, `I wish I had at least played one full season in the States`," Karlsson told reporters in an interview.
"I got the chance to join having finished runner-up to Lee Westwood last year at the St Jude Classic in Memphis ... and I`m really looking forward to the challenge.”
"I played a good few tournaments there in 2007 but this year it will be a full 15-event schedule," added the world number 16 ahead of his Qatar Masters title defence this week.
Karlsson, who also won the Dubai World Championship in November, and his family have vacated their Monte Carlo home and bought a property in Charlotte.
The location is just a short drive from the venue for the Quail Hollow Championship that is held in May, an event won by young Briton Rory McIlroy last year.
"I was in Charlotte on one of my first visits to America and I liked the city and the region," explained Karlsson. "I`m only 15-20 minutes drive from Quail Hollow and I went there after New Year to play a round so I will add that event to my schedule.”
"My schedule this year will be to play the minimum 15 events I have to play in the States and also the 12 or 13 you have to play on the European Tour.”