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October 3, 2004

Thomas Bjorn


RODDY WILLIAMS: Okay, Thomas, well played today. Couldn't quite catch Ernie, but a pretty good effort all day. Sum that up for us.

THOMAS BJORN: Yeah, I think I'm disappointed, but obviously proud of what I've done this week. I've only come up one short. It's always disappointing, but if it wasn't for one player in this field, I mean, we both have quite a bit ahead of the next ones, and that just goes to show what kind of golf we played.

He played golf without mistakes today, Ernie, and that's what he's very good at. He's very good at just plodding along and then taking his chances when he gets them. I had my fair share of chances, but when you go out on a day like this, the weather is like this, and if you had asked me before we went out, if I shot 68, if I thought that was good enough, I would have said yes. I thought it was a very difficult day, especially when you turn the corner out by 12. 13 through 17 is just as hard as it comes in golf with the way the weather was.

I'm proud of what I've done this week. I've come a long way, and this is what I want to be a part of. Thinking back on the last six or seven months, I mean, this is a massive improvement. I'm just happy with being in this situation.

I said yesterday that your frame of mind changes so quickly. You go from just trying to get into this week and playing some rounds and then get yourself in with thinking, "Well, I can make a good result this week," anywhere in the Top 10, and then you get in that frame of mind.

When I get in that frame of mind you want to win the golf tournament, and I tried as hard as I could today. There were a couple of situations out there where I made slight mistakes. I hit a really good 4-iron on 14 and it just comes up in the lip of the bunker and I get a lie on the upslope there and don't get it up-and-down.

Then on 17, I thought I hit a really good putt. I hit a couple of putts from there in my practice rounds, and I thought it was really slow going up there, and that's the way I remembered it from practice. It just ran on a bit for me, and then I hit a really good second putt and it just lipped out.

That's about the only things today where I can say I slipped up a little bit, but they're not big mistakes. They're the kind of things that happen when you're in that situation. And Ernie has got a couple of situations like that in the round where he would feel that he could have done a little bit better. But in general, when you go out and do what he did today, the first 17 holes he doesn't make a bogey, and he knew if that's the way he could play, then he was going to be very difficult to catch.

Coming up one short is just a bit -- you feel like it was a great opportunity, but also, it's a very good moment for me. I've come such a long way. I can't describe how long I've come, actually. It's been a long trip for me, and I'm just happy with what I've done this week. Unfortunately it was just not good enough to win.

Q. There must have been great support from the European Ryder Cup team.

THOMAS BJORN: They've been very supportive, the 12 players, and I've got great friends on that side. You realize when you're down and out, you realize who your friends are, and there's been a lot of those players who were on that side who have been very supportive and they've been very happy to see me play well this week. That's obviously meant a lot. But as I've said earlier in the week, being there on the golf course and enjoying being on a golf course, which I hadn't done in a while, was really, really great.

A lot of credit goes to the way they treated me that week and also the way they treated me the weeks after and the weeks leading into the Ryder Cup. I mean, I've got great friends that have been very supportive all the way through this, and you really find out that there are people out there that actually care about what you're doing, and that's nice to know.

Q. No sign of demons today?

THOMAS BJORN: No. They're long gone. From those perspectives, you go into the day and you know this is a test. Whatever you've done prior to today is all coming back to you today, and it didn't, so I feel very good about my golf. I got off to a fast start to apply some pressure. Unfortunately for me, Ernie got off to a fast start, as well. That's just the way golf is sometimes.

But I did all the right things, and through the tough holes I kept just making the pars and looking for him to make a mistake, and he never did. On a day like this, that's what champions are made of, the guys that don't make mistakes. When the weather is good and the courses are good and it stops blowing, then it becomes a birdie-fest, and anybody can be a part of that. These are the tough days and you've got to grind it out, and nobody does it better than this guy.

Q. You said today that today was going to be the test. How much did seeing the weather conditions and how much they were like the European club on the day the demons did haunt you, was that in that respect a test, as well?

THOMAS BJORN: No. I woke up this morning, I felt so good about my golf all week, and I woke up this morning feeling good about what I had to do today. I've looked at this week as -- I mean, I said when the things happened at The K Club, I said, you know, you've got to just sit down and realize what you've got and what you have to do and forget about the past, and that's what I've done. I had those five weeks and I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do with my golf, and this is a massive step in the right direction. And I'm not looking to the past because this is a sign for me that, yeah, I can play with the big boys again. I said that yesterday looking at the leaderboard. I mean, that was a big leaderboard yesterday, and the pressure came from that, that you have to go out and play with the best of the best. That's what I did.

I came up one shot short of Ernie, but I came up a long way ahead of everybody else, and that gives me a good indication of where my golf is going.

Q. Given your state of mind back in July, are you as proud of what you've done this week as anything you've done in golf?


Q. That was short.

THOMAS BJORN: Short but precise.

Q. You were very close to taking a long break, weren't you?

THOMAS BJORN: I took what I considered a long break, five weeks in the middle of the summer. I was never close to -- when you start thinking about giving up the game, I was never in that frame of mind; I just wanted to put some perspective in. That's why I fought so hard to get my swing back, and that's why I jumped straight at the opportunity to get my old caddie back, because I know that those people are good for me and they've brought me to those levels. I just wanted to get back to that, and this is the first week of me and Ken working together, as well. Everything has just got all the right things to it.

Q. How long were you apart, you and Ken?

THOMAS BJORN: It's been a couple of years now. I've had Billy for 18 months, so it's been a couple of years, just under two years.

Q. Just talk briefly about Pete Cowan's contribution.

THOMAS BJORN: Pete is the greatest coach I know. Pete is magnificent. His technical knowledge is second to none. Pete sometimes gets a bit carried away with the technical side of it and doesn't let his players play often enough, but I think it also has a lot to do with the way the players are. You're always looking for something, and that's what I said. We decided now that when it's good enough, it's good enough, go and play. Don't worry about anything, and that's what we're doing now. Pete leaves early in the week, so when it's golf, it's golf. Go and play golf.

We've been very guilty of in the past that he stays too long and it becomes -- on days after the round you stand there and work on your technique. Well, if you're in contention at golf tournaments, it's good enough, just go and play golf, and that's what we decided I have to do. We also know that I have to work very hard on my game and technique away from golf tournaments, and away from golf tournaments there isn't anybody better. He has been magnificent for me and he's been magnificent for a lot of players out here. His contribution I can't -- I mean, he's the best coach I've ever stood with on the driving range, and he does all the right things. Especially for me he does all the right things.

He's been great in this, and it's been hard work and long hours, and he puts in more long hours than anybody. He's been good to me.

Q. What's next for you? How excited are you to get back out there, and what do you think you can accomplish the rest of the year?

THOMAS BJORN: I'm going up next week to Scotland. I'm looking forward to that. I've played well on all three golf courses and I had a great British Open and great memories from St. Andrews, so I just can't wait to get up there and play again. I'm very excited about this week, but I'm also very excited about just getting out there and playing golf again.

I said to Ernie walking around today, we're probably glad we're not up there right now with this weather. We'd be in big trouble.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Thomas, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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