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


February 7, 2008

Thomas Bjorn


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thomas, thanks for coming in to join us, as always, and congratulations on a good morning's performance. I know the bogey at the last, but overall, you must be pretty pleased with the start.
THOMAS BJÖRN: It was a good day. I played pretty solid until the last three holes really. It was just pretty steady off the tee. I took it a bit conservative off the tee on most holes, and a couple chances I took and got off well. So it was a nice day. It was a good start, anyway, so we'll work from there.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Anything particularly pleasing today? It's not an easy golf course.
THOMAS BJÖRN: It certainly isn't, if you start hitting off line off the tees. I was pleased with the way I just stuck to my game plan, and there's a lot of par 5s out there where if you hit a good drive off the tee, you've got nothing into the greens. But you've just got to kind of stick to what you hit the fairways, and try and get up-and-down and make the birdies that you get thrown at you, because I think that's going to be the key at the end of the week, really to, try to take advantage of the par 5s but do it in a conservative way.
SCOTT CROCKETT: We'll take the details. You started at 10 and birdied 14th, what did you do there?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I haven't done this in a while, I can't even remember 14. I hit a drive into the right-hand trap and then hit it up in the front trap and hit it out to three feet.
On 15, I hit a 3-iron and wedge to 15 feet.
On 18, I hit a rescue, a hybrid and a 3-wood to the front of the green and 2-putted it.
I hit a 6-iron to 25 feet on 5.
6, I hit a 3-iron and an 8-iron to inches.
And on the last, I had a hybrid off the tee. I had a 6-iron just over the green and I had a forward pitch to eight feet and missed it.

Q. How tempting is it to go for greens when you know you probably shouldn't.
THOMAS BJÖRN: It's definitely very tempting. The par 5s are so inviting in a way that if you hit good drives on all of them, you're getting up very easy, you're getting up with irons on every one, but there's nowhere to hit the driver, really. You have to hit a spectacular shot, and if you don't, then trouble is there for you.
So I think it's just a question of playing this golf course very conservative. It's very rare we see bush like this. It's just, to find to sometimes is a miracle in itself.
So you've got to play conservative and try to keep it within the perimeters of the golf course and try to get the most out of your day. I think if you try and overpower this golf course, you're going to find yourself in huge trouble throughout the week.

Q. Is it fun out there, or is it hard work?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I thought it was fun today but again, I shot 68. If somebody shot 80, he probably didn't think it's that much fun.
It's obviously fun when you're doing the right things and playing well, but it's hard work in a way, and I think we are all going to have a day this week where it's going to be very hard work and you're going to find that you have to grind it out to get a score.
But it's good fun. I mean, this is the way golf was, you know, Australia and South Africa 20 years ago. You found golf courses like this all the time. And we've just gotten so used to big, modern golf courses that we've forgotten that this exists.
It's quite good fun, I think, to play golf courses like this again. You know, it certainly shows that a golf course doesn't need to be long to be difficult, and I think that's -- I think the players will emphasize that; that it seems like we're building these 8,000-yard long golf courses these days and people are still shooting 20-odd-under.
But you get on a golf course like this where you have to think off the tee and you put guys under pressure all day long by inviting them to hit driver, but when they do, they have to hit the perfect golf shot or they are in big trouble. I think that's the way that golf is supposed to be played, really.
And to that extent, it reminds me a little bit of the way you have to approach a links golf course really. You can try and overpower it, and then you've got to have one of those days where everything goes your way, and then you can shoot a low number. But if it doesn't come off, you're going to find yourself in huge trouble.

Q. What do you think the public enjoy, seeing booming drives or players being cautious?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I think what people like to see is how good the players are, and I think here this can be a very difficult golf course to play, and to see people go around in the 60s on their golf course, I think they will find they are quite enjoying to see people being able to control the golf course that they find difficult on a day-to-day basis.
I think that's what we should be shown that we are better than the regular guy that plays the golf course, and I think you'll see that this week.
But it takes a little bit of experience to play a golf course like this, I think. You know, I think you have an advantage when you play a lot of golf in your life and you know that you can be out of the golf tournament after ten holes today, but you certainly can't win it today. You've got to stick in there. I think people enjoy watching us play golf in a very controlled and sensible way.

Q. You had a disappointing 2007, is this the sign of your form coming back?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Not at all. It was a tough year last year. I went through difficult times, and the first three weeks of the year, I found really difficult. Played really solid and putting scores together has been very difficult for me, and I'm not getting ahead of myself here. There's no chance of that.
I know where I am and it's an uphill battle at the moment. I'm very well aware of where I was, but I think if you live in where you were and not live in where you are now, then you can find your golf career being over very quickly.
So I live very much where I am now and 68 has got to give me confidence that I can go out and control the golf course like I did today. But, I'm building and building at the moment, and that's the most important thing. 68 was nice. It was a good confidence boost for me, but this is four rounds, this is another tournament, and yeah, I'm on the right track, but I'm not getting ahead of myself.

Q. Too early then to talk about goals for the year?
THOMAS BJÖRN: My goal for the year is getting myself back to the golf I can play. If you're going to ask me, do you want to play Ryder Cup teams, play in the Ryder Cup; do you want to play in the big championships, well, you know, I wouldn't say I'm happy that I'm not going to some of the big championships. But I certainly don't think my golf is right there where I want it to be to go and play in some of the biggest tournaments. I think that can set me back at the moment.
I think I'm just going to build and build and build and I'm sure Europe has 12 better players than me at the moment, that's for sure.

Q. Talk about the experience of being in India?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, it's interesting. You know, you obviously hear a lot, and we've got three or four guys in Europe that are very well liked, Indian players and they have been shouting at us for years to come down here and now we're here.
We need to build our tournaments in this part of the world. We want to have a great relationship with India and with the Asian Tour, and to build events like this is always going to take time. I think when you come from Dubai last week, you know, there's certainly some differences in the way things are here.
But you know, it's all about time, and it's all about seeing a place. We said a little bit the same thing when we went to China. It was such an emerging place. It was growing very quickly, and you know, this is the same. It grows, it grows every day, it's buzzing, things are happening here, and it's great to be a part of it.
You know, it's certainly a long way from what we are used to on a day-to-day basis, but we are glad to be here. We're proud that The European Tour comes to this part of the world and built a relationship for the future. I think that's the important thing, and hopefully we'll have not one, but many good tournaments in this part of the world.

Q. Do you see a way players can help the poor people here in the future rather than just come and play golf?
THOMAS BJÖRN: It a difficult one because we get thrown into it for a week. We've got to look at what's here and then for the future try to come up with some ideas to not only come in and play golf, but be part of making golf a difference in different parts of the world.
I think with our own charity on The European Tour, this is what we are going to start looking at; what are we going to do to try and improve circumstances for people in certain parts of the world where we go. And that's what we've got to do look at.
But it's a difficult one when you come in here for the first time. We need a bit of time to come up with ideas of what we can do, and it's certainly something that Mark Roe and Jamie Spence are heading our charity, it's something that they will have to look at, but it's probably more for them to answer than it is for me.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Thomas, thank you, as always. 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