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


October 17, 2003

Thomas Bjorn


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thomas, thank you for coming in. Well played. 5&4 victory over Mike Weir. Yesterday you were behind at lunch, and today you were always in control of the match. Is that how you felt?

THOMAS BJORN: I don't think you ever feel in control against a player like that. But I feel like I did a lot of hard work this morning, getting myself in front, never really made any big mistakes, and I knew this afternoon -- obviously I learned a lot from my own situation yesterday. I was 3-down at lunch and it's easier to be today when you're 3-up, easier to just go out there and feel like you've got it in the bag and you're doing all of the right things and then not focus.

So I was very determined early on to go out and put the pressure on Mike. I got to 4-up on two and then I had putts on 3, 4 and 5 to go 5-up and pretty much stayed in control of the match.

Then I get to 6-up through eight and all of a sudden you start thinking, if I just par in from there, it's going to be a difficult task for him to get back. Then all of a sudden he threw three birdies back at me on 9, 11 and 12, and I thought, "Ohhh, here we go." But he gave it away himself on 13, 14, not hitting the best shots and making a couple of bogeys. And then it was just a question of just sticking to what I had done the first day and this morning, making pars on the tough holes.

Q. Is there a feeling of unfinished business playing Ben Curtis tomorrow?

THOMAS BJORN: Any unfinished business -- when he got me back on the car, Billy says, "Guess what the first question is going to be." (Laughter.)

It's long gone for me. It was in July. We're in October now. I think we both feel like we have done something good to be in this tournament. We have both done something good to be there tomorrow playing against each other.

No, I don't -- I lost the Open and whoever I lost it to, it wouldn't have made any difference. I lost it to Ben Curtis. It could have been Tiger Woods. It could have been anybody and I would have felt the same because I had every chance of winning that Open Championship. I don't have any unfinished business with Ben Curtis at all. He stood there on that 18th green and holed that putt that gave him the chance to win the Open Championship, and that's what it's all about.

I could have done my things to win that tournament, and I didn't. But it has nothing to do with whoever won the tournament. I've got to go out there tomorrow and try and do what I've done the first two days, and I have to feel like I'm playing against the best player in the world and just stick my head down and do the right things. I can't look at who I'm playing tomorrow. It's turning into a long week when you play those first two rounds, and it's a tough day ahead tomorrow. I think if you get through tomorrow, well, then you is day it becomes a day where you just fire on cylinders again because you're in that situation.

But today is a tough -- tomorrow is a tough day. I feel a little bit tired and I need to go home and have a good rest. But I don't -- I don't look to who I'm playing tomorrow. I'm looking to do what I've done the first two days and try and get through it.

Q. The fans are taking to you - more tomorrow?

THOMAS BJORN: I'd like to hope so. But that's for the fans to make up their own mind. I feel that I've played some good golf the first few days. I feel like I entertain people on the golf course and hopefully they are taking it to their hearts. But you've got to go out there and perform, and it's nice to have some support there, especially when it gets a little bit tight, but, I mean, as long as you play well, you're going to get some support. And I certainly feel I have my fair share of support the first two days, but I also feel my opponents have had some great support. It comes down to the British golf crowds. They have always been like that and they will always be like that. They have always been very good to everybody that comes and plays. And being European helps. Living here helps. I know they will be supportive of me but also supportive of whoever I play against.

Q. You could have been defensive this afternoon with that lead but you weren't?

THOMAS BJORN: No, I wanted to do what I did yesterday, stand on this first tee and go out and be very determined to hit some good shots early on to let him know that I was there to take him on. And if he was going to come back and the match was going to be a tough task for him, he's got to play some good golf. And I went out the first three holes and I hit some really good shots and put some big pressure on him. I think that gave me the upper hand for the rest of the day.

Match-play is a difficult thing because when you play stroke-play, you just work your way into the round and you just kind of go with it. But here, you have to get the upper hand and when you start losing holes, it's difficult to get back on the winning track. I mean, you've got to always maintain focus and never show them your weaknesses. That's why some of the players that's done well in match-play with some of the toughest competitors, as well.

Q. Do you look at this week as sort of a bonus week in the year?

THOMAS BJORN: I was the first man out and I kind of knew that that was one that was going to show up. So I kind of always felt like I was in the field.

A bonus week, it is a bonus week. It's a good week. It's one of those thing like the Million Dollar, like Tiger's tournament, they come with doing something right. I was fortunate to be in this one. And especially when you're not in the other two, it's nice to be in this one. There's a bonus for everybody that does something right in a season, and this is my bonus. I've done a lot of good things, a lot of near misses, but I've played a loot of good golf and this is the bonus that came my way. In that way, it is a bonus week.

But when you look at who has won this golf tournament and the history of the golf tournament, it's certainly also one that you would like to get your name on a trophy here and be remembered as a person that's won this golf tournament.

Q. Would you expect some memories of the Open to flicker back to you tomorrow?

THOMAS BJORN: No. I'm going to be very determined tomorrow to go out and try and win that match. If I do, if I don't, time will tell, but I'll be very determined to stay in that present moment and try and win that match and try and hit it one golf shot at a time as I've done the first two days.

For me, the British Open is over with. There will be another British Open. There will be another major championship and I'm looking forward to those. I'm trying to prepare myself the best way I can to but what's gone is gone and I've got to live in this moment. I've got to understand why -- the setup for that match tomorrow, yeah, I can understand why people will look at, well, this is what happened at the Open. I don't think either one of us will be looking at that because we've played enough golf. We know what it's all about, we know that we have to go out there and perform in the moment. If we don't, you're going to lose your match tomorrow and it's as simple as that.

I'm up against a good player and he's up against a good player, and if you don't stay with it, you're going to lose very quickly.

Q. Have you ever played with Ben Curtis?

THOMAS BJORN: I haven't, no.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Thomas, congratulations. Good luck tomorrow.

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