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July 2, 2005

Thomas Bjorn


GORDON SIMPSON: Thomas, must be very nice to have a four stroke cushion going into the last round but I'm sure you feel there's work to be done yet.

THOMAS BJORN: Yeah, I think, well, I saw it firsthand today, you know, with Jamie hitting it, didn't do many things wrong and he shot in the 80s. This course, if you get off to the wrong start, then it becomes really difficult. So, you know, it was nice to go out there today and I had to go out and find a solid game and certainly was solid today. It was as good as you want to play in these conditions. I don't think you can expect much more than I achieved today, so I'm very pleased with that.

I drove the ball brilliantly for the first the first three quarters of the round and then a bad shot on 16, and one on 17 as well. Other than that, it was just a very, very solid round of golf.

Q. How difficult was it playing?

THOMAS BJORN: Well, like I said, with the high winds out there, you stand there and you've got 9 iron distances and you're hitting 6 irons; and if you spin them a little bit on the wind there, they are just going to go, they are just going to go outside ways on you and they are going to shoot straight up in the air. You've got to be on in your striking and you have to make sure that you're comfortable with what you're doing and knowing what you're doing.

It's almost the hardest type of golf to play because you play, you really want to play links style golf in conditions like this. You want to hit it on the ground, but there's water everywhere so he is that not really possible. So you still have to hit the ball up in the air. So you're very much dependent on the striking. It becomes very difficult in conditions like this. You can see from the scoring, you can see that there's some high scoring out there and the guys are really trying hard to keep it together, but if you're not playing well, it's going to fall apart as well.

GORDON SIMPSON: Your ball striking is better today than it was yesterday?

THOMAS BJORN: Dramatically. It was night and day. It was much better. So I spent three hours on the range yesterday after the round and worked hard with Pete (Cowen), and in the last hour there, we started coming to a few solutions of how I've been swinging the club and why I wasn't hitting it so well. I'm quite happy with what the progress I've made.

Q. What you're saying there, this has become a very difficult golf course, even without the conditions?

THOMAS BJORN: This is a fantastic golf course. The changes that have been made has really excelled the golf course into one of the best venues on Tour. It really is a fantastic golf course. There's not very many easy holes out there. It is a tough golf course. The length in itself tells you it's a tough golf course.

But it's very playable. Play well and you can shoot a score out here. If you don't, you're going to struggle. The rough has always been very severe around here, and that's one thing that we know about the European Open; it's pretty much U.S. Open style. The only thing that is the difference is this golf course is soft, and not as hard as it was at the U.S. Open. But the rough is worse than it was at Pinehurst.

Q. When you were talking about yesterday staying calm, you feel you were able to do that today?

THOMAS BJORN: Only one thing to do today and that's go out and stick your head down and just be very determined on every single shot you're going to hit. You rely on what you're doing and you take you're going to hit bad shots. There's just no way around hitting bad shots in these conditions. You're just going to hit bad shots and you're just going to accept that you're going to hit them and get on to the next shot.

Sometimes in easy conditions you start playing around and start looking at, how am I going to make this round big, and today you can't look ahead. You've just got to face the shot you're going to face, and then take the next one from where you hit it to.

Q. How many bad shots do you feel you hit today?

THOMAS BJORN: Six and seven, those were not up to the standard you normally expect, and when you start hitting the ball made it a lot worse by the windy conditions, you know. So I hit my fair share of bad shots, but fortunately I hit enough good and great shots to make up for it.

Q. How many putts?

THOMAS BJORN: I have no idea. They must be in the stats somewhere.

Q. After what happened last year in this event, what would it mean tomorrow to win this now?

THOMAS BJORN: We can talk about last year as much as we want. We can talk about all of those things. I think in all honesty, I think my results this year have shown that I'm well beyond it. Sometimes I feel like people forget that I actually had six Top Four placings this season and I've won a golf tournament. The results in itself shows that I've left those things behind me.

Yeah, getting a fair share of the lead going into the final round of a golf tournament, a lot people are going to expect to you win the golf tournament. But I'm also well aware that golf is golf, and I'm going to go out and try to win this golf tournament tomorrow. I can't sit here and say I'll just go out and hope I do well. I have to go out and try to win the golf tournament and do all of the things that makes me win it. I can only do my stuff, and if it's good enough, it's good enough. If it isn't, it isn't, and that's as far as it goes.

But with regards to last year, I've just, you know, let's put the lid on it. We talk about it every time I've been in the press centre this year, we've talked about it. And it started at the American Express last year and every time I come in, it's like it comes out again. And I understand why it comes out and I know that it's I have to look at it as a positive, as well. I come in when I was leading a tournament, it was for a good reason, and now I'm in here for a good reason, so I have to take the positives from that. But also, the results have been good enough to just say, that's it, it's over with.

Q. What players have said about how tough the course is playing, how big of a lead

THOMAS BJORN: There's no lead. There's no lead. You know, the only lead is that you have a few shots ahead or few shots behind. There is no lead in a golf tournament or a golf course like this. It could burn up very quickly. If I can do when I did today, play that kind of golf, then I've certainly got a chance of winning this golf tournament.

Q. Did you relish the challenge this morning?

THOMAS BJORN: Yeah, I look forward to it. When I am in that frame of mind when I wake up in the morning and see that it's blowing hard, that's a good thing. When you're not on your game, you don't think, oh, dear, I don't really want to go out there in those conditions. I'm back in that frame of mind where I actually find, yeah, let's have some tough days. Tough days are good for me.

Q. How good was 69?

THOMAS BJORN: In the last groups, a very, very good score. I mean, 69 was something that I actually didn't think that shooting in the 60s was possible when I stood on that first tee because it was blowing quite hard and it never really let up.

Q. Do you want to see the same conditions tomorrow morning?

THOMAS BJORN: Yeah, I don't think that's a bad thing for me. I like playing in tough conditions. When I've won a lot of my golf tournaments, it's been tough and I think there's why I always have a pretty decent major record. Let it be tough and go out and play with heart and stick your head down. So I don't have a problem with tough conditions tomorrow.

Q. Can you give us the birdies?

THOMAS BJORN: I made a bogey on 4. I hit driver and a rescue to about 50 feet and 2 putted.

Then made a birdie on 9. I hit a driver and a wedge to 20 feet.

I made birdie on 13. I hit a 3 wood and a wedge to 25 feet.

And I made birdie on 16. I hit a driver in the land rough and hit a wedge and an 8 iron to three feet.

I bogeyed 17. I hit a rescue and then a 6 iron on to the green and chipped it to about six feet and missed it.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much, Thomas, and good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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