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January 30, 2004

Thomas Bjorn


GORDON SIMPSON: Well done, Thomas, a round of 68 to join your opening 64; leader in the clubhouse at the moment. Just take us through today's round, please.

THOMAS BJORN: Well, I mean, I got off to a good start again today, and I got a couple of breaks early on and things were going my way. Played some solid golf. Hit a bad, really poor tee shot on 17 and made a bogey there, and then started playing really well after that.

I made a stupid bogey on 7, but I said it yesterday, when you haven't played for a while, you're going to hit a couple of loose shots, and today they cost me dearly on two, not easy par 5s, but certainly you should not make more than five on them, and you should probably walk off 1-under on two par 5s. And only two bogeys and all in all, I've had my very fair share of breaks these two days.

Hitting a lot of good golf shots and that's really the key. I mean, that's what I'm happy with, that I'm hitting these good shots, and then I just have to know that once in awhile I'm going to hit a couple of loose ones. That's the way the game is.

I'm happy with my performance over the first two days in general. I thought I really kept focused and I really maintained a good balance in my golf game. I felt I did all of the right things, and in the end, it was a little bit loose, but that's the way it goes.

Q. Can you take us through what happened when you called the referee, please?

THOMAS BJORN: No, I'm sorry. I know you really want to hear what that was all about. This is staying between me and Monty and the European Tour. I have the most respect for Monty as a golf player and things happen once in a while on a golf course where players that are as competitive as we are have a difference in opinion on some things, and we took that in private and we dealt with it.

We are as good friends as we were before we went out and we will always be good friends. But it stays between us.

I can't sit here and say that there was anything. I mean, I did some things wrong and Colin did some things wrong on the golf course. And in the end, it just went -- you know us well enough that we've both got our tempers and we both want to play well. That's it. I mean, there's really nothing to it. There was nothing too serious in the thing that went on.

I mean, with my temper and with Colin's temper, it just comes out. A lot of other people would have dealt with it differently, but we've spoken about it and we shook hands on it, and Miguel was there and everything is as it was before.

Q. Are you sorry about what happened?

THOMAS BJORN: It's not a question of sorry. It's a question of saying this is what we felt happened out there and we are going to play a lot of golf together. We'll both make sure it doesn't happen again.

Q. Is it fair to say it relates to the 7th, your 16th?

THOMAS BJORN: It was other things that picked it off. It's small things. But when you're competitive as we are and when you're out there in situations like this, it's bound to happen. But fortunately, we both have enough respect for each other and consider each other friends to deal with it and deal with it privately.

Q. Would you tell us what you thought you did wrong?


Q. The Volvo Masters, which was your last event on the 2003 schedule, was the last time you played with Monty and we know what happened there --

THOMAS BJORN: Colin plays the way Colin does and does the things -- he has to answer to that. I can't sit there and talk about another person that I respect and consider a friend, I really can't. You make up your mind. What do you think? It has nothing -- I'm not going to sit there and tell you guys what I think.

I told you, I respect him as a player and as a person and I consider him a friend. And that's got to be enough to say that I have no bad thoughts about the person; I really don't.

Q. We're going to be writing about this and I'm very confused about what you said. I think, would you think it would be better if you just explained the basic facts? Because I think --

THOMAS BJORN: No, it's not. Because it's between me and Colin. You write whatever you want to write. There's no story here. So you write whatever you want to write and you make up your own story if you need to because there is no story here.

It's between me and Colin. What do you want me to say to you? You want me to say to you that something happened out there? Something happens on a golf course all the time.

Well, we dealt with it privately and it's not a big issue. So you sit down at your computer and write whatever you want to write and you make up your own story. I've not told you anything. So if you write something, then you're writing something that's coming out of your mind. So you go and do that and then you'll have to deal with us afterwards.

Q. Are you satisfied with your play these first two rounds?

THOMAS BJORN: You can't ask for more. I haven't played golf for eight weeks. To go out and shoot 64-68 on a tricky golf course where you certainly have to use your head all of the time, I'm very happy with the way I've played. I'm going to go and hit a few balls and get myself ready for tomorrow. I'm really just happy with the way I'm swinging it. I'm in a good position. I mean, there's a lot of golf to be played and there's some good players out there.

Q. You used your new driver in this first tournament. How has it worked for you?

THOMAS BJORN: It's doing very, very well. I've really hit a lot of good drives. I hit a couple of loose ones, but it's more down to my swing is just not stable enough with the long clubs. Certainly when I get it stable and I hit that driver, it's performing better than anything I've ever had in my hands. I'm really, really happy with it. I'm happy with all of the changes I've done. I changed golf balls, I changed drivers, I changed irons.

So, in general, I've got to be happy with the equipment I've got in my golf bag and my golf results this week so far this week shows it.

Q. Is there a particular point in your game that you would be working on towards the last two days or particularly the strategy?

THOMAS BJORN: No, not really. I mean, I think any part of the game can be a little bit better. I need to just keep doing what I'm doing and then it's going to be fine.

But there's two days ago, and we know throughout a week of golf, a golf swing changes and the way you hit the ball changes. So I'm just going to go and do my work and be happy when I leave the driving range.

GORDON SIMPSON: Thomas, well done. Good playing and see you on the weekend.

End of FastScripts.

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