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


September 26, 2007

Thomas Bjorn


GORDON SIMPSON: Thomas, thanks for joining us. You are back at the Heritage for the Seve Trophy, and what is it about it that gets you excited?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I don't know, I think it's such a good rivalry as an amateur between Great Britain and Ireland, and you play in those matches as an amateur, and when Seve introduced it into the professional ranks as well, I thought it was a great tradition and a follow-on of that rivalry.
I think it's a good and healthy rivalry. It's one of those where we get up for it. I think we all understand that it is a friendly rivalry between Great Britain and Ireland and the Europeans, and I think that's a good thing for the Tour as well.
I think we at times feel like we play for ourselves and just keep playing week in and week out, and it's not so good to go about things when you go for your country as an amateur or as you do in the Ryder Cup. And here we get back together two parts of the continent which I think are good matches, and they give a variety in what we do every week.
I think that's good for the game and for all the players involved, and I think it gives people here or on TV something different to show and write about instead of one individual player every week, and I think that's got to be good for the game.

Q. Do you think there is any danger of maybe some bad feelings emerging between players?
THOMAS BJÖRN: You know, when it comes down to it, we come here and we all say these are friendly matches, and everybody is very friendly today, and they will probably be friendly tomorrow, but when it comes down to the weekend, it always seems to get business. It always seems to get hard, and I think we've seen in the past there have been incidents where we exactly know how hard and how competitive people are.
So I think it's a hard competition, but the one thing that this was created for was to prepare us better for The Ryder Cup, and I think in all honesty that has worked with the way The Ryder Cup team has performed, especially the last two times. So I think it has a value in that aspect, and for it to have a value in that aspect, those 20 players here need to know that they're going to be on the same side come next September.
So for that reason, I don't think there will be too many big incidents between players. I think everybody realizes we are here with a common goal, to prepare ourselves for what's going to happen in a year's time.

Q. What would you favour?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I think the results the last couple of times speak for themselves. I think everybody knows that you want to walk into a press room and say that you are the champs, but in reality, Great Britain, or Great Britain and Ireland team, whatever way you want to put it, has to be the favorite going into these matches. (Chuckles.)
But I think when I look at my team, and that's where my concentration is, we have some players that have done remarkably well. They are on their way up as players, and I'm sure they'll perform very well this week. A lot of focus will be -- it's always been on the players that are not here, and we are missing three very big names in Henrik, Sergio and Niclas, but all in all, all of the teams have shown and proven to everybody how good they are, and I think this team will stand together.
We will give it a run, but we will go in as underdogs and feel comfortable in that position, knowing if we have to play our best -- and we certainly have to play our best, why then we have a chance for winning.

Q. What do you think Nick wanted to get from his speech to everyone last night?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I think Nick wanted to make sure that everybody understood that he's available to everybody, that they have a chance to play in the Ryder Cup team, and I think that was a nice way of approaching -- especially the youngsters, because Nick hasn't been a player on Tour, you see, week in and week out, so it's difficult for some players to get a relationship with him, and it was nice for him to stand up and say, "Come to me. Ask me anything. I'm there for you, and I have one thing on my mind, and that's to win The Ryder Cup."
He doesn't know which players will be with him; it could be a lot from these two teams, could be nobody from these two teams, he doesn't know. He's making himself available to everybody. I know Nick, I've played with him, I've seen him on Tour, I've played on Ryder Cup team with him, I know what his phone numbers is, I can call him if I need to.
I think he understands the players on the Tour now might not, and he is probably not going to add to a lot of what me, Monty or Robert are going to feel about our golf game, but we will play our best and try to make the team, and if we don't, the other players will go and show the way.

Q. Inaudible
THOMAS BJÖRN: He had a great opportunity, 20 players of all having the potential of being on his team, talk to them, in front of them. I wouldn't say that. All the others have done it their own way, and it's been a great way, and I've been close to three successful Ryder Cup captains.
So they have done it their way, and I think we all knew Nick was going to do it his way, and he's always done that throughout his career, and I think he will be successful going into The Ryder Cup, and he will do it the right way, because he is as professional as they come.

Q. Is the competition really tense?
THOMAS BJÖRN: That's a funny one, because we seem to get told at the moment that we're too friendly, and that's the reason we don't win Majors. And the reason we win Ryder Cups is probably because we are that friendly with each other. It's a strange -- when I came on Tour, I didn't feel players were that friendly with each other, especially at the top.
I certainly feel like the generation I'm part of, we've been very, very friendly with each other; we're good friends on and off the golf course. I've certainly got a lot of friends off the golf course, and it might not have made us win major championships, but it's given us a great feeling when we go into team events.
We know what each other stands for, we know which one we can play with and which one we can't play with, and I think that's given us a big advantage. We always show in the pairings that we do better than the Americans. So I think it's always great to be on a golf course with a friend of yours in those circumstances. But, you know, it's what you want to do.
I think if you asked every single one that's played in the Ryder Cup over the last ten years whether they wanted to win Ryder Cups or major championships, I'm quite sure they would all say major championships.

Q. What about the people who opted not to play?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I don't think that's for me to judge, really. I can only judge that if I was in their shoes; I can see where they're coming from. If you look at the schedules they have, they have had very big schedules, and I think the players understand when you have that big schedule, certain players who still have big schedules coming up, you've got to have a break somewhere, and anytime you take time off in golf these days, you're letting somebody down.
You know, you're letting the Seve Trophy down or big golf tournaments that have supported the Tour for many years down, that's just the way it's going to be. We play 51 weeks a year pretty much at the moment, and you can't play it all. It's a shame that they're not here, but it's a shame that we don't have the best field every week, but that's never going to happen.
I think the players understand why some of them are not here. So it's not for me to judge if they're letting the Seve Trophy down, because I understand where they're coming from.

Q. Inaudible
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, he's injured, and he's trying to get himself fit to play golf. We know what kind of a competitor he is, and he wants to be on the golf course. I don't think his mind is on being Ryder captain for anybody; I think his mind is on playing golf. I'm a great friend of Paul's. I would have liked to see him here, but I think I learned the hard way if you don't qualify, then you have no right, and that's the way it is.
I think there is a lot done by the perspective on this, and I think everybody wanted it, but I have to say that from Nick's point of view, they could easily be in the Ryder Cup next year, and I think it's a good way for him to see them up close, guys like Marc Warren, and spend time with them. You've got to balance that out as a captain.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thank you very much for coming in.

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