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September 25, 2008

Thomas Bjorn


Q. Well played, great 69 particularly after a long lay-off through injury?
THOMAS BJÖRN: The last time I played was Loch Lomond so it has been ten weeks. I started struggling at Loch Lomond with my shoulder and it turned into a pretty bad injury to be honest. Really inflamed tendon in my left shoulder and I couldn't hit any golf shots and get back out. I seemed to enter every tournament and pull out on Monday or Tuesday from Loch Lomond onwards. That has obviously been a bit difficult.
I expected going in here to the Belfry, tough golf course at this time of year with the rough, I expected to come in and post a couple of 78s and then get a bit of practice in over the weekend and get ready for next week.
Very pleased with today, didn't play particularly well but fresh in mind and wanted to play and wanting to fight on. Got a couple birdies early on in the round and that kept me going. I felt quite comfortable with a lot of things I haven't felt comfortable with for a while. My short game has always been one of the greatest parts of my game but it's left me a bit over the last couple of years. It was there today so there's certainly something there to build on.

Q. Is the shoulder fully mended now?
THOMAS BJÖRN: It is. It feels very good and I have no pain and no restrictions. It feels very good.
I only see one guy with it, and we just knew that we could see on the MRI that there was a lot of inflammation in there and it just didn't seem to disappear. The only way forward was really rest to be honest.

Q. Are you modifying how much you practice?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, I don't really do much more than an hour, hour and 20 minutes every day at the moment. And that's probably the future for me to be honest. Do a little less practise and do a little bit more focused and probably do it more often than I have. I've always been a guy that when I go home after tournaments, I take three or four days off. Now I probably have to continue practising from when I get back home just to keep that momentum going.
So I have to just rearrange my practising a little bit to get myself back to some sort of form.

Q. You were going to go to The Ryder Cup last week?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, I wanted to play. I wanted to play, and I was going to go with SKY, but I wanted to play golf. I needed to. If I didn't practise last week, if I sat over there, I would have come here and not had an idea where the ball was going. So I started practising last week and I just thought, you know, I'm only 37, so the main focus is still on my playing career.
So I don't really look at any other things than wanting to get back to form. Going and doing that for a week would probably mean that I would come here and feel more rusty than I do.

Q. Was this injury the most concerned you have been?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, shoulders are not good. I think we all feel the shoulders and wrists are not good for golfers, and this worried me because it took such a long time to start getting better. It actually took five weeks before I started feeling a little bit better. It just seemed to stay the same no matter what I did. It was a worrying time. But the guy that I see said that's just the way it can be, and don't worry about it, it will be all right but you need to rest it as much as you can.

Q. What is the treatment?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, rest to start with, and then we've had a lot of physiotherapy on it just to loosen it up, because it tightens up a lot and it needs to be loose and when I get back out there. All in all I'm just glad that it's better now. I didn't feel anything off it today and that was a good sign.

Q. What do you do to keep yourself occupied when you have to rest?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, what do you do? Thank God it was kids school holidays and spending a lot of time with them. You get into a mode where you almost forget about golf and about the only golf that I did watch was last week.
You just get into a mode of doing other things. I was with the kids and Pernilla in Sweden, so that's what you do. It's been a good time but it's also difficult because you want to play golf.

Q. Was your swing restricted and is there pain on your backswing?
THOMAS BJÖRN: No, when I get to the top of the backswing, I get a shooting pain straight in the shoulder and it makes me not able to move or turn fully back. So that's -- but I didn't -- as I said, I didn't feel any of it today, and I felt the movement in the shoulder today and hopefully that's the future for this shoulder.

Q. Are you someone else ruling yourself out of captaincy for Wales?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I'm 37, you know, I've got to focus on my playing career. That's the way I look at it. I've seen the comments and I've seen it and I'm very grateful for them it. But I still think that at 37, we have a lot of guys that could potentially be the next captain and at 37, you have to focus on your playing career because you have limited number of years left and you have to focus on that.
Ruling myself out, I don't think I was ever in the equation. It came through the media that a lot of players said I would be a good captain, and I'm grateful for those comments, but I don't think I'm in the equation for it. I'm just going to focus on my golf, and if I'm a captain one day, it will be a great honor to do it, but I'm not -- I'm not focusing on that at all, and I'm not even putting my hopes up for it because I honestly don't think I'm in the equation.

Q. You mention a lot of guys could do the job but they have all been ruling themselves out?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, well, eventually we will have to convince somebody to do it. Otherwise George will have to do it.

Q. Does it make people nervous the fact that Faldo has got a bit of stick for it?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I think we got so used to winning, so when you lose, you try and find the thoughts. I don't think Nick did many things wrong. I think he went with what he thought was right.
The one thing you've always got to keep in mind is that we are playing in another golf side that is is very, very good, and when they are playing their best, they are very, very difficult to beat. That's what happened last week. I watched most of it. Yeah, when you lose, you can always question things, but I have to say that the Americans looked like they played very, very well and they were going to be hard to beat with anybody out there.

Q. Where are you in the process of finding a new Captain?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, we decided we were going to let the dust settle over this one, because I think you can make decisions very quick, and I think people that are ruling themselves out might rule themselves in again at some stage. I think we need just a little bit of time and let time settle on this one and then we'll move forward and start looking forward to Wales. We are in no rush to pick a captain, I have to say.

Q. Is it on the agenda next week?
THOMAS BJÖRN: No. I wouldn't think so. You know, somebody might bring it up, but that's the players right, but at the moment, it's not on the agenda. I certainly think for one that it's too soon after this Ryder Cup and there's still a lot of emotions in The Ryder Cup. Let time settle a little bit and then we will see.

Q. Any reservations about there being a repeat captain?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I'm going to say all doors are open at the moment. We have to sit down as a committee and see what we think is right. From a players point of view, we have a lot of great captains and a lot of great potential captains coming up and I think anybody who got the job would be honoured to do it and do a good job.
I know you guys like to make a big thing of it, because Ryder Cup captaincy is a big thing, but whoever we appoint will do a good job, I'm sure.

Q. Is Sandy Lyle in the running as the only one of the big five not to have had the captaincy?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, I'm not going to name any names because I'll be held to that and I'm not going to do that. I'll say that all doors open for everybody at the moment and we'll sit down as a committee and discuss it and we'll come up with what we think is the right decision, and some people might disagree and some people will agree with us. But that's all we can do, and unfortunately it can only be one and that's the way it is.

Q. Will that meeting be in the New Year?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Could be. Could be.

Q. Will you have some sort of inquest into what went wrong or just let the dust settle?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, we've always had a policy that the captain does what the captain does. Nick went with the way Nick does it and the way he's done it all his career.
You know, we are very well aware that the captain has to be comfortable in what he does and not try and force something onto home. And Nick did it the way he's always done things and he's been very successful in all his golf life doing that. So who are we to tell him to do things differently?
So I think that we'll keep going with that. We'll appoint the captain and then it's the captain's Ryder Cup and he will do whatever he wants. There is no need for an inquest. No, we lost to a team that played fantastic and that's the way it is. We've had great success over such a long time in The Ryder Cup; eventually, we had to lose, and unfortunately it was this time.

Q. George was saying the announcement could be made in January but you are saying you are not in any rush?
THOMAS BJÖRN: We are going to have a committee meeting, and it's very likely where that will be discussed and decided. I want the guys on that committee to think about it. I don't want to go into a meeting and people haven't thought about it and tell them, now we have to decide who is going to be Ryder Cup captain. It's now such a big thing, that we have to have the feeling of the guys on Tour, not only the guys on the committee. And we need to know where everybody stands in their playing career. There's a lot of issues. And it could be very well in January, but maybe we decide to do it later, just for the sake of making sure that we make what we think is the right decision.

Q. You have that facility to announce it later?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, it's two years from now. There is no rush, and the points don't start until next September. So we are in no rush to appoint the captain. I almost think that for the captain's sake, it's not really that -- I think Nick -- I wouldn't say he suffered on it, but it's been hard knowing for four years that he's going to be Ryder Cup captain. There's a lot of things to think about, and that -- I think that's probably been a little bit hard for him. I think he would have been happier with it if he would have had a shorter time to think about it.

Q. So you won't be naming two Captains like last time?
THOMAS BJÖRN: If that comes up, it comes up. At the moment, I think the focus is on who is going to be the next Ryder Cup captain. And that's what I shot 69 to come in tell you. (Laughter)

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