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July 20, 2002

Thomas Bjorn


BRIAN CREIGHTON: Thomas Bjorn at 73. Thomas, the conditions today, were they as bad as you've ever played in.

THOMAS BJORN: This is probably one of the hardest days I've ever had on a golf course. Certainly early on it was a test beyond belief. We kind of knew that if you got a rough day out there, this was a sleeping giant of a golf course, and it certainly showed today. It was a lot tougher than you can imagine playing golf in, and it was a question of hanging on and just trying to make the most of it, and the condition improved a little bit on the back nine, but not a lot, but it still improved a little bit, and I think the guys that had a decent score from the front nine were just kind of able to hang on to their scores today, and that was the key to the round, but how severe were the conditions today, it all sums it up.

Yesterday I hit -- on the fifth hole I hit a driver and one I know to about 25 and today I hit driver one I know -- one I know to four feet and that pretty much sums it up how tough the conditions were today, and that's -- I think it was -- we were obviously a bit unluckily today, the guys that were leading the tournament there were good conditions this morning, but that's what you get in this part of the world sometimes and I think it's a lot of credit to the guys to hung on today to a decent score because it was certainly tough out there.

Q. Were you predicting the conditions would be so bad?

THOMAS BJORN: I was standing on the putting green and I knew we were going to get some bad weather this afternoon and as I was putting there before I went out, I just saw this big black cloud coming in and I thought, oh, here with go. I've been plague in Europe and playing a lot of golf in Scotland and Britain and you know when you see weather like that what it's going to be like. And it's just so easy to shoot in the '80s because if you start losing some shots out there, it's difficult to see yourself getting around the golf course, and what you have to do on a day like this and just to accept all your bogeys because you're certainly going to make a lot of bogeys out there and try and keep doubles off the card and hopefully hole a few putts to make birdies. That's what I did today. I got four birdies in my round, to just keep my round going all the time. But it was brutal out there.

Q. As a European Tour player do you see an advantage when that comes in? American players weren't used to playing with wind and rain like this.

THOMAS BJORN: It's obviously an advantage to play in severe weather conditions, but there's one thing you always have to take into account: Any player that goes out into these conditions has to hit the shots and we all can hit the shots or we wouldn't be here, so you have to go out and hit the shots. Obviously it's a bit of an advantage to train in conditions like this. But if you look back over the years, guys have played in severe weather before, and also in America sometimes they play in severe weather, but it's just you have to hit the shots and you have to believe in yourself and links golf is like this sometimes, and I don't think -- I don't see any advantage to any players out there. This is a question of just grinding it out and be as tough as you can.

Q. Did you look at the score board at all to see if you were at the top and make sure other people were falling around you?

THOMAS BJORN: I checked the score board out around the 6th or 7th hole just to see what was going on and see how tough it was, or if it was just me feeling the heat of it. Every time you saw a score board, guys were dropping shots. You just felt like if you could produce a score between 71 and 75, you've done really really well, and that will keep you in the tournament, and that was pretty much the goal. I took every bogey just like, well, that's what's going to happen out here today, and I just strolled on and just to make the most of it.

Q. The fact that you have ridden the storm, does that give you a lot of confidence?

THOMAS BJORN: Yes, I feel good about my game and I feel I can rise to the occasion tomorrow. It's going to be very exciting. There are a lot of players that can win this golf tournament now. I think if you had better weather today you would have seen a lot of the top guys taking advantage of the condition and gotten away, but now it's all bunched together and it's going to be a very interesting day tomorrow. A good round can do it for you, but you don't need to shoot -- if you make a few mistakes early on, you can play yourself out of the tournament, and it's going to be a tense day for a lot of players out there tomorrow.

Q. Can you talk about your excitement about having been in a position like this and now having a chance to win?

THOMAS BJORN: I mean, this is what it's all about. You get into a week like this and you feel nervous the whole week because I came in feeling I was hitting the ball well, so I was nervous the whole week and out there you feel the heat of the battle. But this is what it's all about. This is what you work the hours for, and this is what I certainly now, in my stage of my career, feel I want to be a part of. I don't want to just play regular events and -- obviously I want to try to win those, when I play them, but this is what it's all about. I feel very excited about major championships. I feel I've played in enough majors now to contend in them and I know my way around and I certainly have an advantage over a lot of guys that come out that haven't played in major championships, and there are a few out there this week right on the top of the leader board that haven't played in any majors and I feel I have an advantage over them, but I'm very excited about the day tomorrow.

Q. Is the fact that Tiger is out of it now, by the looks of it anyway?

THOMAS BJORN: You never know. He's had a tough day today. I think that pretty much shows how tough the conditions are. But it makes it more -- probably a little bit more open, but no matter if he was in the tournament or he isn't, you've got to go out there and produce a number. You have to go out there and play. And so does Tiger, he has to go out and produce the numbers and play on Sunday in a major championship. By the looks of things he's probably out of the tournament, but you never know. I've seen the guy play some pretty good golf, and if the conditions get good tomorrow, you can shoot a low number, but he's had a tough day and that just happens sometimes, it's obviously for him it's not the best, but that's what happens.

BRIAN CREIGHTON: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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