THREE-times European Tour winner Steve Richardson is going back to his roots to get his game back on track.

The former Ryder Cup player takes part in the Hampshire PGA's first Overseas Pro-Am in the United States next month.

He will lead one of the 22 teams booked to compete at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on February 23-March 2.

The 72-hole tournament, organised in conjunction with Hampshire's specialist golfing tour operator Serenity Golf, will be played on the Hummingbird, Wood Stork, Avocet and Falcon courses which make up the Wild Wing Plantation complex.

For Richardson it's a welcome opportunity to warm up for what will be a crucial year. It's the last year of his exemption to the European Tour School and the 36-year-old Hayling Islander, who has missed out on his card for the last two years, admits it's make or break in 2003.

If he can find his form in Hampshire and South Region PGA events, it will encourage Richardson to get a taste of European opposition on the Challenge Tour before he returns to Tour School in November.

In the 12-year history of the Hampshire PGA Overseas Tournament this is the first time it has not been played on the Iberian Peninsula.

"The decision to travel further afield has certainly been justified by the excellent response we have had," said Hampshire PGA secretary David Wheeler.

As well as Richardson, the tournament has attracted many of the county's top professionals Rob Edwards, Scott Watson, Ian Roper and James Ablett.

Kevin Saunders' pro-am team defend the title they won in Portugal last year.

Wheeler visited the Myrtle Beach complex in November and says: "It's an excellent package that Serenity Golf has provided. The four courses provide an interesting and varied challenge, the hotel accommodation is first class, and the area is well equipped to provide plenty of entertainment for the teams during their week long stay."