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May 23, 2014

Thomas Bjorn


Q.  What is the verdict on day two on a day that wasn't quite as plain sailing as day one?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  No, it wasn't, but those were tough conditions for everybody out there today.  Especially on the front nine, it was extremely difficult to get into a rhythm.  We played those first four holes in I don't know how long, and we had a couple of rulings in front of us.
It was just impossible to find a good rhythm and Retief left us with injury after five holes, so we got caught in a two‑ball.  It just seems like all day we were waiting and waiting for a long time on a lot of these shots.  It was extremely difficult, and when conditions are tough, you want to get into a rhythm really, and kind of keep yourself warm and get on with it.
So it was a tough ask today, so I was pretty pleased with the way I finished the round.

Q.  We all marvelled at your course record and said it was unlike Wentworth.  This is very much like Wentworth, isn't it?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  Very much so.  I have to say it's very rare, as tough as it was on those first five or six holes, gusts and hard winds and you're never really sure where everything was, and that was extremely tough.
It settled down a little bit after that, and it was very much the way you know the golf course, you've got to hit good shots to make birdies, and it was a testing day for every player in the field.

Q.  Nice back nine and nice final hole?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  Yeah, I had a couple decent shots on 12 and got that up‑and‑down and obviously holing that bunker shot on 15 was big, kind of settled me for the last three holes.
It was just starting to go a little bit in the golf swing there on 13 and 14, and so it was nice to finish off the way I did on 18.  I hit a good shot in there yesterday and a good shot today, and may that continue.

Q.  Still top of the tree into the weekend?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  It's nice.  It's where you want to be.  We'll go out and work hard on the weekend and see what the conditions are like and try and play the golf course and not the opponents.

Q.  If yesterday was an open freeway where you could enjoy a purring, beautiful car, was today the sort of traffic jam day, certainly early on?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  Yes, it was.  It was a testing day.  We kind of got stuck out there a little bit.  Our play wasn't particularly quick and that often happens when conditions are very tough.
So it was one of those days where you just kind of had to try and stay focused and knowing that you sometimes stood seven, eight minutes over a shot before you could hit it.  That was certainly tough.  But I worked hard and I got myself around the golf course and with a decent score, and taking the conditions into consideration.
Pretty pleased with the day's work to be honest.

Q.  I was going to say, there's a disparity between the numbers between the two days, but I would have thought a pretty equal level of satisfaction at the end.
THOMAS BJÖRN:  I'm satisfied the way I finished the golf course today.  It was getting a little bit away from me and I hit some poor shots and kind of got away with it.
My short game helped me a lot on 14 and 15, and to finish the round off in a way where you can get to tomorrow and think, well, you're still playing all right; it was tough today, it really was.

Q.  You'd have taken the halfway lead, though, wouldn't you, even the point where you were walking to the first tee yesterday, because confidence levels at that point weren't the highest, were they?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  No, they weren't.  But you know, golf is a funny game and it changes very quick.  Now there's two very hard days ahead of us, so we know what this championship is all about.  You've got to get out there and you've got to play this golf course.  You can't play‑‑ whoever all the other guys in the field, you have to play the golf course and stay focused on that.

Q.  The fact that you've had plenty of success over the last sort of year or so, how much of a help is that going to be over the weekend, do you think?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  Any tournament is a new tournament.  I've got the experience and I no he what it takes to win golf tournaments, but also know that it can very quickly disappear after 36 holes.  Such a long way to go, and the focus and the intensity will be on the people in the leading group and the people who go out and shoot numbers early on tomorrow.
A lot of things can change in this golf tournament from here on in but as long as I stay focused my game and try and do the best I can, then we'll see where I am on Sunday.

Q.  Expecting some wet conditions for Saturday.  How do you feel about that given the way the course has played so far?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  It's getting softer now, that's for sure, and it's obviously going to get a lot longer if it gets wet but tends to be‑‑ I haven't seen a weather forecast that's been right yet this week, so ‑‑ it was supposed to rain a lot we got told on the 9th tee that it was going to rain all afternoon and very hard and we ended up playing in tee shirts.  So we might have to have a word with our weather man (laughter).

Q.  I know golfers don't want to get ahead of themselves, but could you give us an assessment of what winning The European Tour's Flagship event would mean to you over this weekend?
THOMAS BJÖRN:  For a European Tour player, this is the biggest event we play outside of majors and World Golf Championships, so it kind of says it all I think.

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