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September 25, 2009

Thomas Bjorn


GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Thomas, thanks very much for joining us again. The same result as yesterday, a two-point deficit, but I would imagine that shot by Gonzalo on the last could have a very big significance on the week to get that point.
THOMAS BJÖRN: Certainly a bit like yesterday; the match that we needed came through in the end.
But you know, unlike yesterday, I feel encouraged by the signs I saw out there today. There was a couple of the guys that didn't play so well the first day that really picked themselves up today and didn't get a point. Henrik played really well and didn't get a point. They just got up against it, and that's what happens sometimes in these matches. Simon Dyson is on a big roll at the moment, and that's just the way it is.
But there was encouraging signs, but sad that Søren had suffered from food poisoning and struggled all the way around and left Miguel on his own, but those things happen. When all ten players have to play, it's difficult, so we had to go with what we had out there, and that was a bit disappointing. All in all, the signs were encouraging today I thought.
Francesco and Anders were fantastic again. So, you know, that was a big game for them. They were really excited last night about getting that game, and they went out and showed what they are made of. You know, two very steady players sometimes do it in these matches and they don't come much more steady than that, and so that was an important match for us.
You know, you are always very well aware when you've got strong opposition that some people can get on such a roll and certainly the bigger and better players can get on such a roll that if you just let them keep going, they will win all their points.
So it was important for us to put a stop to that.

Q. When did Søren start to feel bad?
THOMAS BJÖRN: He was poor quite early in the round, and we had to get a referee in a buggy to stay with him to run him to the toilet the times he needed to go. You know, that was -- and in the end, his head was hanging very much and he just didn't have the energy. It's a shame for him. He's been looking forward to it for such a long time, and that's what happens.
But you know, I'm not going to give you any pairings, but I am going to give him a rest in the morning. He's struggled with his health a little bit the last few weeks. He had a visit to the hospital a few weeks ago with some sort of infection that they never really got to the bottom of it, and I'm not going to put his health at risk this week, that's for sure.

Q. The other stricken player, Robert Karlsson, what's the latest on him?
THOMAS BJÖRN: He did well on him today. Robert would say he did well for 17 holes. I don't think he fancied the shot he hit on last too much. He did well today. He started, he went down to the range last night and just started to pick up a little bit, starting to get a little bit of feel back, a little bit of belief that he actually can hit the shots.
It's nice. He's like a little child at the moment. He just wants to play so much, because he's been out of the game for such a long time. You know, it was really good for him today. You know, winning that match on the last will give him a little bit of belief and, you know, trust in what he's doing. He will come in here and he obviously came in here feeling like, is it right for me to play. I've been out for that long, and, you know, but today, I was glad he was there.

Q. What was the feelings on shuffling some of the partnerships?
THOMAS BJÖRN: You know, when you have, you know, pairings that you get in your mind, that they look like great pairings, Henrik and Robert, I thought, I had to play Robert in the first match, and, you know, I didn't know where he was. They have had great success winning the World Cup together. I felt like, you know, if anybody can carry it, Henrik can. He's the best player in the field, and he can carry that.
So I thought -- but it just didn't work out, and one thing I didn't want was Henrik's shoulders to drop. I need him to play well, and he came out, I had a long chat with him yesterday, he came out and played really well today. Unfortunately he didn't get a point out of it but he did play very well and he feels happy about where he is right now.
So I just felt won one should change one around, a couple other follows on the back of it. You know, Miguel didn't get the point out of it, but then Robert and Gonzo got a point out of it. It adds up to that we are trailing by two points. I said earlier that, you know, we literally are through the first day of a Ryder Cup, that's where we are, and if you're trailing by two points, you wouldn't call it a disaster. You have just got to keep going right now and try and get those points back.
So that's where we are and we obviously are not happy by trailing, but we don't feel like we are out of it, that's for sure.

Q. You guys now very rarely play greensomes. Have they enjoyed practising that?
THOMAS BJÖRN: It's a nightmare for a captain really because there are so many theories about putting that together: Do you go with a long hitter and shorter hitter, or do you go with two that play the same sort of game? When you play fourballs, they can just go and play their own ball and it doesn't really matter what kind of player they are.
When you play foursomes, you obviously like people that keep it in play all the time.
Greensomes, it's not really a game that you played a lot as an amateur. It's a bit strange. But we'll try and get the pairings together the way we think is right, and hopefully, you know, when it comes down to it, it's about playing well and putting well. So it doesn't really matter who you put out there.

Q. Which side of the fence are you on in terms of whether The Ryder Cup should go to four days?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I think it should stay at three days. And the reason I say that is I think these days are a bit too boring. There's not enough going on. I think they are not important enough. Here we are playing for five points; we might play for six points or five points or four points in The Ryder Cup, I don't know, if we went to four days. But, it's just not enough going on. There's not enough points being put on the board for it to be exciting. I think it's much better that you stay at three days and keep it the way it is.
GORDON SIMPSON: So tomorrow is the big day.
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, it's a big day tomorrow. We can certainly both play ourselves in it and play ourselves out of it tomorrow, so it's a big thing.

Q. Are your teams for tomorrow ready?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, I made my pairings. I don't know if Paul has put his in yet, so I can't really comment on them.

Q. You only have to do tomorrow morning, don't you?

Q. Do they make any remark about the field or about the course?
THOMAS BJÖRN: They don't really get into that. You know, they get focused on what they have to do and try and win the matches and that's what it is. But we always like this place when we came here for the Lancóme, and that hasn't changed. I think everybody is very happy about it.
GORDON SIMPSON: Enjoy the two sessions tomorrow.

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