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


January 17, 2007

Thomas Bjorn


GORDON SIMPSON: Thomas, here we go, it's a new calendar year, how much are you relishing the challenges ahead in 2007?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I'm looking forward to it. I made a few changes like I normally do, but you know, I'm back with Pete Cowen to do some work, and we worked for a couple of weeks, there were some big changes that needed to be made.
I kind of made a conscious decision to the end of last year to just play my golf out and then make the changes over the winter and the changes were made, you know, they were hard for me to do. But shoot, in the long run, it improves things but it might get take a while, but it could click this week; it could click a couple of weeks in Dubai.
But the main thing at the moment is for me to do the work and get myself ready come even through August really, and that's what I'm looking to do.
It's a working process at the moment. Not a lot of fun and games out there, but especially today it wasn't the most fun. But I'm pretty happy with the way we've done things, so I'm looking forward to the year in the way of trying to change these things and trying to get myself back in a position where I can challenge for major championships again.

Q. (What made you consider going back to Pete)?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, you know, at the back end of last year, I got into some pretty poor habits through the ball. My backswing got really, really good. I worked so much on that last year, but I couldn't really get into the ball. I've got a couple of movements in my body that I don't really, really like, and it gets ahead of it and that's probably the way I played last two or three months of the season last year. They either go right or low left and that creates the instability in the game. I'm just trying to find my way of -- finding away of moving my body correctly again which I haven't done for a while.
I'm finding it pretty difficult to be honest, but it's a job that needs to be done. And with that, we've done a lot of hard fitness work this winter to just try and get the body moving better, and that, also, it's difficult to get the golf game going right from the beginning. It's all a process of trying to be ready at a later stage in the season to play some of the big events the best way I can.
GORDON SIMPSON: You were one of the first people to appreciate the benefit of living and working in Dubai. Could you talk about how this has developed, three weeks in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai and how it seems to be growing all the time.
THOMAS BJÖRN: I was in Dubai for a couple of weeks and the last week or so is like being on Tour really. You just stood on the range and you look everybody is a tour playing showing up with their golf clubs to hit balls. It's all a credit to the place as a destination to go and practise and to go and play some golf. They look after you very well.
I feel over the years I've been so many places and I don't think as a pro I've been treated as well as I have in Dubai, and I think most guys on Tour feel that way. And they accommodate the whole situation very well. They are very good to us and they give us the space, and we take up a lot of space. You know, if you've got ten, 15 guys on the driving range hitting balls from 8.00 in the morning to 6.00 in the afternoon, that leaves not much room for members but they seem to give us that chance.
As players we're very grateful that we can come and use the facilities in this region. The weather, except for today, kind of speaks for itself and it gives us some great facilities, practise facilities, and they are better here than they are anywhere else in the world.

Q. (How is the course this year)?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, the golf course last year played, you know, firmish and that obviously made it feel a bit short. And then there was some -- a few bad weather weeks over Christmas here which made the golf course grow in very nicely.
The golf courses in the region are probably as green as you'll ever see them and the rain is making them softer, so there for the golf course is playing quite a bit longer than normal. And then we put in a few new tees. So it's actually turned from a golf course that wasn't feeling that long last year to a very, very long golf course that's playing very long today in the Pro-Am.
It will be a great test of golf and it's in fantastic condition, which, you know, obviously gives for better scoring, but it still can be a very difficult test because there's a few holes out there, the par 5s, some were reachable last year, and now none of them I can reach. So that was a massive change to the golf course.

Q. (Has the rain changed the course more)?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I wouldn't know. I just know that it's rained a lot in Dubai and I see what the golf course looks like in Dubai, and that's probably at this time, you know, two weeks prior to the tournament, the best I've ever seen it two weeks prior to the tournament. And you can see when you're out here, it's in fantastic condition and it's just very green and the rough is very, you know, it doesn't look that thick but it's very lush on the bottom and it's very difficult to move the ball out.

Q. (About going back to Pete).
THOMAS BJÖRN: No, I just felt like I was doing a lot of good things but I wasn't getting -- I wasn't getting the right path into the ball and I wasn't having the control that I used to have. And I was searching around for three, four months at the back end of last year to try and find a way and I never really found the solution.
Sometimes you've just got to look yourself in the mirror and say, well, where have I played my best golf and I've played my best golf with Pete as my coach. That was a decision I had to make, you know, and Pete's been very successful with a lot of players, and I've had great success with him. And I had to make that decision, and we just had the discussion and he had some good ideas what he thought was going wrong, and then we worked from there.

Q. (On how experience will help him).
THOMAS BJÖRN: I think so. I think I learned lessons over the years and I think I learned that I need to sometimes give myself that time to get my game in shape for the right periods of the season. Sometimes I want things a little bit too quickly. I certainly, looking back over the years, it's one of these things that's always come to me when I won golf tournaments and I won very quickly. So you to take a step back and say things are going well, that's new for me. I've learned a lot of lessons over the years and I think in this situation it will benefit me a lot. Just work it out, work hard and get myself back for these next five years. I'm 36 next month, and these five years should actually be the best years of my life. So I just really want to push that and I need to take this time to get it right.

Q. (Do you think you can contend quickly)?
THOMAS BJÖRN: You never know. I know what I'm capable of and I also know that it can click very quickly. I want to go out here this week and do my best as I always do. The game is not in the best shape but it's always in shape to go out and give a performance and hopefully as the week progresses it will just get better and better.

Q. (About Ian Woosnam's choice of captain's picks for Ryder Cup).
THOMAS BJÖRN: I'm talking about three or four months, when you look at my summer period, I've played some really good golf. I've said at the time there was some players playing some really good golf, and he had to pick two players and he did and they were both fantastic and that's the end of it. There's not really anything else to be said.
The thing about European golf at the moment is we've got 25 players that can play Ryder Cup. We don't have seven or eight as we used to have. We have 25 of them and we are going to have great teams for the future. That's the most important thing for all of us is that we have a great team. Whatever happened, that's that. For me that's over and done with.

Q. (Is Ryder Cup still a goal)?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I would like to see anything the same as any other professional golfer. But my career revolves around challenging for a major championship. I'm not sitting here and going to say that I want to win majors. I want to challenge for major championships. I love that feeling on Sunday at a major where you've got a chance, and that's what I'm driving myself hard to do. I've always said to you guys, I have a strong belief that the more times you put yourself in that situation, the better the chances to win one.
And I'm going to try myself as hard as I can to get back in those positions, because I love being in those positions. So that's all -- that's all I'm trying to do. My C.V. is not about winning 20 or 30 or 40 golf tournaments; it's about doing the best I can do, and the fact is, that you get to a certain stage in your career where it's about four weeks every year. That's the main objective of your career is to perform well those weeks.
That doesn't take anything away from all of the other tournaments, but that's what you build all of your work around, and that's way want to do. I want to try and challenge at major championships because I've done it in the past and I've got very close. And even though I've gotten close and not been successful, I actually love being in that position.

Q. (About strength of European Tour players.)
THOMAS BJÖRN: Our Ryder Cup Team for many years to come will just be stronger and stronger and stronger. We have some great, huge talent on this tour now that's just going to be very successful individually and as a team. And be part of it or be not a part of it, I'll enjoy watching it and I'll enjoy being a part of this Tour more than anything. Whoever 12 goes to these events in the future, they are the 12 players that will go and do this tour proud.

Q. (About achieving goals).
THOMAS BJÖRN: I'm proud to be a part of this Tour and I'm proud of the things that I've achieved in the past and I want to achieve more. As I said, I'm coming into an age where I should be achieving more. I should be pushing on from this age, and I'm willing to putt in the work.
At times I've felt like, you know, the motivation has dropped a little bit. I feel more motivated than ever to do the work and there's only one place to get success and that's on the driving range to do the hard work to get yourself into situations where you can win tournaments.

Q. (How was it to go back to Pete after leaving).
THOMAS BJÖRN: Pete and I have been back on a few times, probably three times I think I've been back. You know, you maintain a relationship with any coach out here. All of the coaches I've used, I feel I have great relationships with.
During the time when I've been away from Pete, I've still discussed a lot of technical things with him, because I consider Pete not only my coach; I consider him a great friend. We've been through a lot of things together.
So it's not all that difficult. You know, Pete's got a big heart. He has certain players that he will always want to help and I'm lucky to be one of them, and he has done a lot for my golf career, and to pick up the phone to Pete is not a question of asking him to work with me, so it's just give him a call and see how he is, how he's doing and then we move on from there. And sometimes it comes to the point where just feel like, we've got something to work with right now, we know we have something there that both of us, we've worked it out together and then we can move on.
Sometimes with a coach you get to a point where it's not moving anywhere and you start searching for solutions instead of having the solutions and then it's time for a break. And sometimes a break is good.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thomas, thank you very much for that and have a great week.

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