home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 18, 2006

Thomas Bjorn


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks for popping in to see us. Have you just come across from Dubai?

THOMAS BJORN: I was in Dubai since 16th of December. We always go down for Christmas about a month. With the kids, it was just nice. It's quite simple. Actually, I've never been here before.

SCOTT CROCKETT: How are you finding it?

THOMAS BJORN: It's a big difference between Dubai and here. This is a bit more tranquil here, and in Dubai everything is growing a bit quick. Both things has its charm, I guess.

SCOTT CROCKETT: You're not thinking of moving here, as well, yet?

THOMAS BJORN: No. We enjoy ourselves in Dubai and we have some good connections there. We really enjoy that. This is a nice place.

Q. How is the game since the winter break?

THOMAS BJORN: There has not really been a winter. I had three weeks off before I went to the Royal Trophy, so it was just a nice little break. It wasn't really a winter break in that sense. I've done a lot of swing changes over the last couple of weeks trying to get myself prepared for the year, but those things are difficult to do. So it does feel the game feels like there's been a break, but when we get back into it, it will come back very quickly.

I get into a situation over when I play for a long period of time that the clubs start going across the line on top of the backswing and I've just made the decision now that that's a thing of my past. I play my best when it's either straight down the line or just goes across, not big time. I look back over the last ten years of golf, that's what I've found. And I'm done with this that my swing varies that much.

The last couple years I've gone very much into a playing mode on the golf course and just playing and not really care. I find in the long run that it doesn't really hold a lot for me. I've gone back to my old coach, Leif Nyholm, and I see a lot of good things in that. He understands my game very well and I'm very happy with that.

I can feel it as well. A lot of bad things happen in my golf swing over a period of time if I don't get it back on track. I've done those things and I'm quite happy with where we are. It's a little bit difficult for me to do, so it might take time. But it might not, it might just slot in and then all of a sudden you get a feeling for it. That's the hard part, to get the feeling for it. It's a little bit of hard work, but it will come good and it will do me good in the long run, that's for sure.

Q. Do you have any goals for the year?

THOMAS BJORN: Yeah, there's things I want to do. I'm keeping them quite close to myself. I like to keep those things in. I've got a very clear mind on what I want to do and I'll set out to do that.

You know, it's the same things. When you've been around for as long as I have, and you have done as many things as I have, it will always be the same things, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to find out what I really want to put on top of what I've achieved. You can make up your own mind, but I keep it close to myself exactly what it is I want to achieve.

Q. Where is Leif based?

THOMAS BJORN: It is in Copenhagen.

Q. How often have you seen him?

THOMAS BJORN: I saw him for three days between Christmas and New Year's and then I just spent a week with him now and he's here this week. I'm going to see him I want to see him once a month. I'm not going to overdo it, either. I know what I have to do and we found things and I can do it all myself. I can get the camera out on the range and I can sit and work on it on the computer at night and I feel it very quickly.

It's just a question of knowing all the time that I'm doing the right things. I've got to do a lot of things myself and I think that's the way I used to did it, as well. That's the way I probably like it the best, that I exactly know what happens in my golf swing, instead of trusting somebody blind.

Q. Playing just down the road from Dubai, is this like a home tournament for you?

THOMAS BJORN: This and Dubai are big for me because of where it is, and the relationship that I have with this country and obviously especially Dubai. But it means a lot to me, for family reasons, my relations with the golf clubs in Dubai and the people I know there. Yes, it is important to me. It almost comes to a to be honest, you'd like your home golf tournament to come a little bit later than these two, but that's the way it is.

Q. Are you ruling out a win?

THOMAS BJORN: I'm not ruling out anything. You've just got to be realistic with where I am with my golf. I've made some big changes and they are difficult to just go out and play your best with. It can take one, two, three, days and the it can take one, two, three months before it's perfect.

So it's a question of just getting the sensation of just doing it perfectly and trusting it 100%. You never know when that really sets in. But I know it's the right thing I'm doing, and then we'll see.

I'm not ruling out a win at all. It's just a question of when I get those right feelings on the golf course. You know, it got dramatically better yesterday than it has been for a few days, so you never know.

Q. Are you feeling more relaxed?

THOMAS BJORN: It has its good sides and its poor sides. There will be some expectations, as well, from people, and that's probably the worst thing about the early part of the season. Like I said before, it might come a little bit too early, but you also just want to come out and play. I think most people at this time of the year are whatever happens, happens.

Everybody has been standing on the driving range changing things, doing things better so they come out here and think that, well, just see what happens. The people that have a little bit of expectations around them, they have that to deal with, as well, which you really don't want to start the year. In three or four week's time, you have no problems dealing with expectations, but right now, that's just an add on.

Q. You talk about being a big change, when was the last time you made a change as big as this?

THOMAS BJORN: Probably haven't made a swing change that feels this dramatic since the middle of 2000. At that time I had very, very loose hands. My legs were very loose and that combination, and now especially in my hands, toward the backswing it gets very hard in my hands to grip the club very hard. The biggest change is just to play with looser hands again, but keep the bottom up very firm and very still. The loose hands, it's very difficult for me to do because it feels like I lose control of the golf club.

Q. Your biggest change, six years later, in terms of the development of a professional golfer's swing, this is a big change.

THOMAS BJORN: It is a big change. For the consistency of my golf, I needed to do something dramatically to gain consistency. That's the only thing that keeps me away from being a Top 10 golfer in the world. My good golf is good enough to be A Top 10 golfer in the world. I know that. The thing I lack at the moment is just to do it more. I have two, three times every year where I play the golf that the best players in the world play. There's five players in the world at the moment that plays golf to that level three out of four weeks, and that's the difference. That I think the rest of us lack a little bit. We can play that type of game but we can't play it often enough.

Q. Over the last year what were those two or three times?

THOMAS BJORN: Certainly the USPGA I played the golf. And at the HSBC in Shanghai, I certainly played the golf. Looking at it at first when I walked out of the tournament I thought there was something that wasn't right this week, putted very poorly and I played really well and when I looked at the stats, it actually matched up to the way I felt. First in greens in regulation, last in putting. Those were the things that matched up and I just thought, that's not me. I know I can putt well. So that's just one of those weeks.

And that's exactly what the best players do. I finished fifth there, putting poorly, and that's exact little what they do.

Q. Shanghai?

THOMAS BJORN: Yeah. The tournaments where I played the golf that were really good, and obviously winning the British Masters, I wouldn't say I played my best there, but I certainly played well enough to win a golf tournament. So there was weeks last year where it was good enough. And then there were weeks where it wasn't.

Q. What do you make of the American change of schedule next year? How will it affect you, good or bad?

THOMAS BJORN: It won't affect me a whole lot. I looked at the schedule for it yesterday. I think the only enormous change I see is THE PLAYERS Championship goes to May which will affect us. But I think the PGA TOUR looks fairly week in June, July and early August.

I think that will have a good impact on our tournament; that our tournaments in June and July will become very strong. I think we obviously have to do some rearranging on our schedule to match in. The FedEx series and these tournaments at the end of the year, I think are going to be fantastic for American golf and for the players that play in them. If I was 23 years old, there was no doubt where I was going to be heading. I'd be packing up my suitcases and going to America and saying this is where I'm going to play my golf. But I'm not.

I'm very happy in Europe. I'm very happy with the development our tour has taken over the last few years. I think our staff deals very, very well with situations day after day. We have a lot of opportunities in the new U.S. schedule to make this tour work for us, but there are certain things that we need to take into consideration. When it comes down to it, golf is about four tournaments every year and five tournaments every other year; the majors, and every other year the Ryder Cup is added on. Everything else happens in between. A great event, but you won't remember who won the FedEx series in 15 years' time, but you'll remember who won the British Open in 15 years' time. That's what golf is all about.

We've got to keep it in perspective. A lot of people seem to think, is this going to be a big blow to The European Tour, what's happening in America. I just don't see it. I think if we do it right and if we keep on track of what we're doing, we're going to be very successful.

The thing that has it's advantage is a lot of the countries that we have like Spain, Italy, the Spanish Open and the Italian Open and the European Masters, the French Open, tournaments that have been going on for years and years and years, they have not going to disappear because of the FedEx series. They are always going to be there and they are always going to be played and they are always going to be a part of The European Tour.

So I don't think that we need to be as scared of it as some think as some are. I think there's people that are, that looks like this is going to be very destructive for European golf. I think we've taken some big steps with our tournaments in Asia, we have created a situation where golf is The European Tour is becoming an international tour. We play pretty much every week year round. I think that will continue. I just don't think we need to take up the battle. We're not going to win. We're not going to create $10 million golf tournaments five weeks in a row; it's not going to happen. But just make sure we do what is the best we can do for this tour and not take up the battle, because it's going to happen and the players are going to go. So it's not really going to I don't think it's going to affect us as much. I think the European players will always come home and play.

Q. How good is the field turning up at this tournament with four of the Top 10 playing?

THOMAS BJORN: This is what we need. We need tournaments like this, especially at a time where the PGA TOUR doesn't show up with their strongest event. We need to field their best players over here and get the exact same players that play in America and play on our tour to give the strength into our tour. That's a lot of people here that add a lot of World Ranking points to the tournament. It gives all of those things that will make our tour stronger and make our players in the long run stand better on the international side.

We have a very big depth of challenge on this tour now. You come out here and I hardly know probably I probably don't know 20 percent of the players that are here. It changes so quick now, and the challengers, they are so challenging. European golf is in very strong hands with the talent that we have, and we need to give them the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world and give them World Ranking points quick so they can get into the big tournaments so they can get the best out of that time. That's the main objective for our tour to get these guys over and play actually, to give World Ranking points further down to some of our younger guys.

Q. Does it worry you, players like Vijay Singh here this week?

THOMAS BJORN: I play with him all the time. You see Vijay Singh is in the field, it doesn't really scare me. It doesn't really worry me too much. I've played enough golf with Vijay to know what he's capable of. No matter what you do on tour today, you have to play your best to win golf tournaments, it doesn't matter if it's Vijay Singh or somebody else, you have to pay your best. It only is a good thing if you play your best, you get more out of it when he's in the field, so you've got to take it as a positive.

I enjoy playing with the best, but it doesn't worry me at all.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297