Bjorn not finished as a player
Thomas Bjorn still hopes to shine as a player and will be looking to follow up his great start to the Alfred Dunhill Links.
Thomas Bjorn cares deeply about the European Tour and that’s precisely why his fellow players made him tournament committee chairman.
He has a good golfing brain too, which is why Colin Montgomerie made him captain of Continental Europe last week and wants him as one of his Ryder Cup assistants next year.
But the 38-year-old Dane still hopes to shine as a player and his aim today was to follow up a brilliant start to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.
After an eight-under-par 64 at Kingsbarns Bjorn, leader by two, faced a tougher test at Carnoustie.
The former Ryder Cup star says he has been inspired by watching the likes of Rory McIlroy and Chris Wood in Paris a week ago – even though they were opponents who inflicted on his side a heavy defeat.
“I like taking experience from situations like the ones I was in last week,” he said. “I like studying them.
“When I went with Bernhard to Detroit (he was a vice-captain to Langer in 2004) I came back and played very well. It inspires me to be in that position.
“Sometimes you find out how lucky you are to be a part of those things – and it is probably a bigger thing being a captain than it is to be a player.
“You feel it a lot more and you put a lot more effort into it. When you’re a player you just concentrate on trying to do your own stuff and get the best out of yourself.
“It was a hard week last week. I spent a lot of time thinking and using the head, so it’s nice to now concentrate a little bit on my own game and the career I still have ahead of me.”
Montgomerie will not be appointing his vice-captains until he knows who is in his side, but Bjorn stated: “I’ve said all along that if he asked me and I’m not on the team I’d love to.
“I think he’s going to be a wonderful captain.”
It was the committee Bjorn chairs that persuaded Montgomerie to stand in January, but while that was one issue settled the economic situation has created its own headaches all year.
“There’s obviously a lot of stuff going on,” he commented. “It’s tough times for the Tour.
“When you go through the schedule for next year and the things that are happening you start getting into a position now where you worry about tournaments.
“It’s not just one or two – there are a lot you have to worry about because a lot of companies have to look at cutting somewhere and sponsorships can go first.
“But we seem to be all right at the moment and hopefully we can get out on the other side without too many slaps on the wrist.
“I have to take that responsibility on behalf of the players to have those conversations. that’s the job I took on.
“At times I kick myself and say is it really worth it for your career, but I think I also bring a lot to the table.
“I’m quite happy doing that job, but at times it can take a bit too much time.”
It can also produce added pressure and Bjorn had health concerns this summer, dizziness and fatigue even leading to him having a brain scan.
“We never got to the bottom of it, but we kind of ticked off the big things that it could be and they weren’t there.
“So we take that as a positive sign and the last two weeks have been very good.”
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