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August 28, 2011

Thomas Bjorn


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thomas, better late than never, many congratulations, Johnnie Walker Champion. How does that feel?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, I didn't really see that coming after my two weeks in America. But I played nicely this week. I played fantastic on Thursday and I played great today. Didn't putt the best. Probably should have done better than I did today.
In the end, it was all down to Mark's mistake really on the last, but that happens in golf. And what we were doing now, five guys in a playoff, you're probably as relaxed as you'll ever be in a playoff, because a lot of things have got to go right for it to go your way.
But the way I played the last three playoff holes, I can't be more proud of what I did. Everything was pretty spot on and those wedges I hit in on the playoff holes three and four were special, but that 7-iron on the fifth playoff hole was probably one of the best golf shots I've ever hit.
Yeah, delighted, brilliant week. So things are going in the right direction. And I've said for a long time, my good stuff is there to play with the best. I just need to be more consistent, and now I need -- two victories this year, a good placing at The Open, things are certainly going upwards.
Now I just need to be more consistent and try and be competing more often and get myself back into where it's really fun to be, in the Top-25 in the world where you feel like you should be competing in Majors and not just on a whim once in awhile.

Q. Distance of your 7-iron?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I had 135 metres to the flag, straight into the cold breeze. It got cold. In the end the ball was not going very far. I kept hitting the shots better and better and I went shorter and shorter and we were realising you were not going to move it very far.

Q. Asked you on Friday if winning here would add to being Ryder Cup Captain here. What's your answer to that now?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, if you can play like I've done this week, you can be a player on the team. So let's focus on playing golf at the moment.
I've said to you all the time, I think if any player has played in Ryder Cup or involved in The Ryder Cup was asked to be captain, they would never turn it down. But that's three years down the line, and you know, my good golf is good enough to make a team. I've just got to be more consistent. If I can get that right, I could make another team and that's certainly my first focus at the moment.
But you know, what's going to happen in a few years' time; let's get Medinah out of the way and see what happens.

Q. Two-part question, you won in Qatar this year which is good, but was it important for you to have a multiple-winning season or just to have the one victory?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I only had it really once in Europe where I won twice in a season, and that was back in '98. So that's obviously special.
And I think it's the year of guys over 40 really. That's a good thing at the moment, when there's so many young players coming through. It's nice to go out there and feel like you can compete still with all these youngsters. Some of them hit it a long way today and they have got no near.
But to get that feeling that you can still compete with them and experience those; it's nice, it gives you a boost, that yeah, I might be 40, but it's not over yet.

Q. With what Darren did --
THOMAS BJÖRN: Yeah, but then you look at you've got guys like Miguel and guys out there way up in their 40s and still competing at the highest levels.
So you've got to just keep believing, and as long as you can stay healthy that's the most important thing. You've got to work a little bit harder now and I've probably worked harder than I've ever done golf-wise and off the golf course to get here, to stay healthy and, you know, feel like I'm comfortable on the golf course. I've had my injuries over the years and I realise if this is going to continue, I have to putt in a lot harder work than I have done.

Q. Just how draining was it out there emotionally and mentally, and what did you do to keep going?
THOMAS BJÖRN: Well, when you've got a par 5 like that, there's not really no chance of getting there in two. There's always a chance that it was going to drag on for a long time.
I think -- I certainly think the four of us, we felt like we got a bit of a bonus for being there. You try to enjoy it. But when it came down to the last couple of holes, all of the adrenaline came up in you. And I think if we had kept going, it would have been -- we get to a point where it was going to get difficult to move the golf club.

Q. Inaudible.
THOMAS BJÖRN: No, but you know, when you hit the shots that I did, third and fourth time around, you felt like maybe you should get a chance.
And I had my chances on the second playoff hole when I left it short in the middle of the hole. That was really my big chance. But it was -- it's a tiring experience. It's been a long hole and it's uphill and it's cold. So it was going to take a lot out of you. But I think we can safely say we played more competitive rounds than anybody else on that golf hole. So we know how to play it now.
But it was -- it's good fun. It doesn't happen very often that you get five guys like that. So it's good fun and it certainly made for excitement for TV and everybody around.

Q. That's the fourth time Mark's missed out recently. Can you let us know how you think he feels and what sort of advice you would have for him?
THOMAS BJÖRN: I spoke to him just now and Mark is having probably his best year on Tour. All he's got to do is not lose sight of that. I think we had probably one of most popular winners we had last week in Oliver Fisher and Mark would have been equally as popular. Both are very good guys. They have a lot of friends on Tour and a lot of support. Of anyone, you would want him to win.
We have all been there when you had the chance to win and you don't. You've just got to draw on all the good things. He played wonderful golf this week and he's had a great year, and he's got to draw on that. Getting himself into positions, one will go your way and then once you start winning it becomes easier to win. He's got a hurdle there he's got to get over, but he's playing the golf and he's a brilliant guy and he'll get there.

Q. Considering all of the wins you've had over the years, and the way you won today, how does this one rank against the others?
THOMAS BJÖRN: This is special. It is special. The way it was done, when it came down to them playoff holes, I very easily could have played myself out of it on the first playoff hole, I hit a poor tee shot there. But then I almost holed a bunker shot. But it's special. The way I hit the shots when I had to, from three to five on the playoff holes, that's right up there.

Q. After the fourth time around, were you thinking to yourself, I just can't do this again? That's how the rest of us would have been thinking if we would have been making two birdies in a row.
THOMAS BJÖRN: Not really. We got rid of one at a time really there for a while. So, you know, you've just got to keep going. I think the only thing that you get through your mind is that now we are only two left, this is where you don't want to lose really when you've been five, because you're doing all of the hard work, and now you want to win.
But now you've got to keep going, all the way to the end. It's about winning golf tournaments and that's what any player plays for and that's what I've always played for and when you get a chance you have to try and grab it.
So you want to be -- if we would keep going at it now, we'd still be at it, and you'll just be a little bit tired when you got to bed tonight.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thomas, many congratulations again.

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