Thomas Bjørn

Last updated
Thomas Bjørn
Thomas Bjorn 2011 Omega European Masters.png
Bjørn with the Omega European Masters trophy in 2011
Personal information
Full nameThomas Bjørn
NicknameThe Great Dane [1]
Born (1971-02-18) 18 February 1971 (age 49)
Silkeborg, Denmark
Height1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight88 kg (194 lb; 13.9 st)
NationalityFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Residence Silkeborg, Denmark
Gothenburg, Sweden
ChildrenFilippa,
Oliver and Julia (twins)
Isabella
Career
Turned professional1993
Current tour(s) European Tour (joined 1996)
Professional wins21
Highest ranking 10 (15 July 2001) [2]
Number of wins by tour
European Tour 15
Japan Golf Tour2
Sunshine Tour1
Challenge Tour4
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament T8: 2014
PGA Championship T2: 2005
U.S. Open T22: 2001
The Open Championship T2: 2000, 2003
Achievements and awards
Sir Henry Cotton
Rookie of the Year
1996
Challenge Tour
Rankings winner
1995

Thomas Bjørn (born 18 February 1971) is a professional golfer from Denmark who plays on the European Tour. He is the most successful Danish golfer to have played the game having won fifteen tournaments worldwide on the European Tour. In 1997 he also became the first Dane to qualify for a European Ryder Cup team. Bjørn is remembered for his collapse at Royal St. George's during the 2003 Open Championship, when he led by two strokes with three holes to play, but took three attempts to get out of a greenside bunker on the par three 16th, handing the tournament to Ben Curtis. He captained the winning European side at the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Contents

Professional career

Bjørn started his career playing on the Challenge Tour from 1993 to 1995. In 1995 he won four tournaments on the Challenge Tour to earn his card for his debut year on the European Tour in 1996. Bjørn made his breakthrough immediately winning his maiden tour title in his debut season at the Loch Lomond World Invitational. He became the first golfer from Denmark to win a tournament on the European Tour. [3] He finished the 1996 season placed tenth on the Order of Merit.

The follow up season in 1997 was steady with a number of top ten finishes without a win, however Bjørn did not have long to wait until his next win arrived. He won early in the 1998 season in Perth, Australia taking the Heineken Classic for his second European Tour title. Despite an over par final round of 74, Bjørn won by a single stroke from Ian Woosnam. In April 1998, after a five-week break from competitive golf, Bjørn won for the second time that year at the Peugeot Open de Espana after a final round 66 took him to 21 under and one stroke ahead of the chasing pack. He later said: "I didn’t really expect this after taking five weeks off, but when your confidence has gone like mine did after winning in Perth, it just shows it’s best to take a break and regroup." [4] After his two wins he finished the year 6th on the Order of Merit.

After a winless period due to injuries and the birth of his first child, Bjørn returned to the winner's circle in October 1999 at the Sarazen World Open. This was his fourth career European Tour win and after an unspectacular year, he jumped up the standings to finish the season 14th on the Order of Merit.

He has finished in the top ten on the Order of Merit eight times with a best finish of fifth in 2000. He has come close to winning a major championship at the 2003 Open Championship when he was in the lead with 4 holes to play before a slump handed victory to Ben Curtis. At the 2005 PGA Championship, he was tied for the lead before finishing as runner-up to Phil Mickelson in a second-place tie with Steve Elkington.

Bjørn was a member of the winning European Ryder Cup teams in 1997, 2002 and 2014. He made the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for one week in 2001 after a second-place finish at The Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. [5] [6]

Bjørn picked up his first European Tour win in four years and 10th of his career in 2010 at the Estoril Open de Portugal, winning with a score of 23-under-par, five better than Richard Green. He followed this with three more wins at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters in February 2011, Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in August 2011, winning in a five-man playoff on the fifth extra hole, birdieing the final three holes and Omega European Masters in September 2011. It was Bjørn's 13th career European Tour win.

In 2005 and 2006, Bjørn sponsored the Thomas Bjørn Open, an event on the Challenge Tour played in his home country. [7] In 2007, Bjørn was elected chairman of the European Tour's tournament committee.

In December 2013, Bjørn won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. [8]

Bjørn's last name is sometimes written Björn or Bjorn outside Denmark. The Danish (and Norwegian) letter 'ø' represents approximately the same sound as 'ö' in German and Swedish. Literally translated, his surname means bear in Danish.

Personal life

Bjørn has three children, Filippa and twins Oliver and Julia with his former wife Pernilla. Bjørn currently resides in London. [9] Perth-born air stewardess Dagmara Leniartek had a five-year affair with Bjørn. Bjørn initially cut relations with Leniartek and denied he was the father of her daughter. However, Danish media reported a DNA test had subsequently proved Bjørn was the father of the child – a girl named Isabella. [10] [11] [12]

Bjørn is a football fan and a keen follower of Liverpool F.C.. Alongside football he also states his other interest to be movies. [13]

Professional wins (21)

European Tour wins (15)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
122 Sep 1996 Loch Lomond World Invitational −11 (70-68-69-70=277)1 stroke Flag of France.svg Jean van de Velde
21 Feb 1998 Heineken Classic −8 (70-68-68-74=280)1 stroke Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Ian Woosnam
326 Apr 1998 Peugeot Open de Espana −21 (68-67-66-66=267)1 stroke Flag of Australia (converted).svg Greg Chalmers, Flag of Spain.svg José María Olazábal
417 Oct 1999 Sarazen World Open −15 (66-69-70-68=273)2 strokes Flag of Switzerland.svg Paolo Quirici, Flag of Japan.svg Katsuyoshi Tomori
53 Sep 2000 BMW International Open −20 (69-63-69-67=268)3 strokes Flag of Germany.svg Bernhard Langer
64 Mar 2001 Dubai Desert Classic −22 (64-66-67-69=266)2 strokes Flag of Ireland.svg Pádraig Harrington, Flag of the United States.svg Tiger Woods
71 Sep 2002 BMW International Open (2)−24 (68-64-66-66=264)4 strokes Flag of England.svg John Bickerton, Flag of Germany.svg Bernhard Langer
815 May 2005 Daily Telegraph Dunlop Masters −6 (73-68-73-68=282)Playoff Flag of England.svg Brian Davis, Flag of England.svg David Howell
921 May 2006 Nissan Irish Open −5 (78-66-67-72=283)1 stroke Flag of England.svg Paul Casey
1013 Jun 2010 Estoril Open de Portugal −23 (67-65-65-68=265)5 strokes Flag of Australia (converted).svg Richard Green
116 Feb 2011 Commercialbank Qatar Masters −14 (74-65-66-69=274)4 strokes Flag of Spain.svg Álvaro Quirós
1228 Aug 2011 Johnnie Walker Championship
at Gleneagles
−11 (68-69-71-69=277)Playoff Flag of South Africa.svg George Coetzee, Flag of England.svg Mark Foster,
Flag of Spain.svg Pablo Larrazábal, Flag of Austria.svg Bernd Wiesberger
134 Sep 2011 Omega European Masters 1−20 (68-68-66-62=264)4 strokes Flag of Germany.svg Martin Kaymer
148 Sep 2013 Omega European Masters 1(2)−20 (66-66-67-65=264)Playoff Flag of Scotland.svg Craig Lee
158 Dec 2013
(2014 season)
Nedbank Golf Challenge 2−20 (67-70-66-65=268)2 strokes Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jamie Donaldson, Flag of Spain.svg Sergio García

1Co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour
2Co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour

European Tour playoff record (3–2)

No.YearTournamentOpponent(s)Result
1 2003 Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe Flag of Ireland.svg Pádraig Harrington Lost to par on first extra hole
22003 Nissan Irish Open Flag of New Zealand.svg Michael Campbell, Flag of Sweden.svg Peter Hedblom Campbell won with birdie on first extra hole
3 2005 Daily Telegraph Dunlop Masters Flag of England.svg Brian Davis, Flag of England.svg David Howell Won with par on second extra hole
Davis eliminated by par on first hole
4 2011 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles Flag of South Africa.svg George Coetzee, Flag of England.svg Mark Foster,
Flag of Spain.svg Pablo Larrazábal, Flag of Austria.svg Bernd Wiesberger
Won with birdie on fifth extra hole
Foster eliminated by par on fourth hole
Larrazábal eliminated by par on second hole
Wiesberger eliminated by par on first hole
5 2013 Omega European Masters Flag of Scotland.svg Craig Lee Won with birdie on first extra hole

Japan Golf Tour wins (2)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner-up
121 Nov 1999 Dunlop Phoenix Tournament −14 (69-66-68-67=270)Playoff Flag of Spain.svg Sergio García
223 Nov 2003 Dunlop Phoenix Tournament (2)−12 (67-65-69-71=272)2 strokes Flag of Japan.svg Daisuke Maruyama

Japan Golf Tour playoff record (1–0)

No.YearTournamentOpponentResult
1 1999 Dunlop Phoenix Tournament Flag of Spain.svg Sergio García Won with birdie on fourth extra hole

Sunshine Tour wins (1)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runners-up
18 Dec 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge 1−20 (67-70-66-65=268)2 strokes Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Jamie Donaldson, Flag of Spain.svg Sergio García

1Co-sanctioned by the European Tour

Challenge Tour wins (4)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
111 Jun 1995 Himmerland Open E (70-70-76=216)Playoff Flag of Finland.svg Anssi Kankkonen, Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Nicolas Vanhootegem
223 Jul 1995 Interlaken Open −16 (64-71-65=200)3 strokes Flag of Switzerland.svg André Bossert
313 Aug 1995 Esbjerg Pro-Am −4 (73-75-64=212)Playoff Flag of Denmark.svg Ben Tinning
428 Aug 1995 Coca-Cola Open −8 (70-70-69-71=280)1 stroke Flag of Sweden.svg Fredrik Jacobson

Playoff record

Other playoff record (0–1)

No.YearTournamentOpponentsResult
12001 WGC-World Cup
(with Flag of Denmark.svg Søren Hansen)
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New ZealandMichael Campbell and David Smail,
Flag of South Africa.svg  South AfricaRetief Goosen and Ernie Els,
Flag of the United States.svg  United StatesDavid Duval and Tiger Woods
South Africa won with par on second extra hole
New Zealand and United States eliminated by birdie on first hole

Results in major championships

Thomas Bjorn Thomas Bjorn 02.jpg
Thomas Bjørn
Tournament1996199719981999
Masters Tournament CUT
U.S. Open T68T25CUT
The Open Championship CUTCUTT9T30
PGA Championship T45CUTT70
Tournament2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Masters Tournament T28CUTT18CUTT25T32CUT
U.S. Open T46T22T37CUTCUTT52T48CUT
The Open Championship T2CUTT8T2CUTCUTT41T53
PGA Championship 3T63CUTCUTT2CUTT62
Tournament20102011201220132014201520162017
Masters Tournament T37T46T8CUT
U.S. Open CUT
The Open Championship CUT4T54T73T26CUT
PGA Championship CUTT48CUTCUTT48CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied

Summary

TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament 000013127
U.S. Open 000002127
The Open Championship 0203551811
PGA Championship 011222168
Totals03158125833

Results in The Players Championship

Tournament200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014
The Players Championship T22CUTT22T22WD69CUT
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Results in World Golf Championships

Results not in chronological order prior to 2015.

Tournament19992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015
Championship T59T40NT1T27T282WDT41T11T28T24T44WD
Match Play R32R16R64R32R64R64R32R64R64R32
Invitational T10T31T15T6118T18T68T40T1569
Champions T42T21T39T41

1Cancelled due to 9/11

  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = Withdrew
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = Tied
NT = No tournament
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Team appearances

Amateur

Professional

Ryder Cup points record
199719992002200420062008201020122014Total
1.5-2-----0.54

See also

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References

  1. "The Great Dane's Challenge Tour legacy". PGA European Tour. 16 April 2013.
  2. "Week 28 2001 Ending 15 Jul 2001" (pdf). OWGR . Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  3. "First Danish winner on the European Tour". PGA European Tour. 22 September 1996. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  4. "Bjorn wins for the second time in two months". PGA European Tour. 26 April 1998. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  5. 69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking
  6. "Official World Golf Ranking – Week 28 – 2001" (PDF). 15 July 2001.
  7. "Bjorn to sponsor new Danish event". BBC Sport . 22 March 2005. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  8. "Nedbank Challenge: Thomas Bjorn wins by two shots in Sun City". BBC Sport. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  9. "Bjorn player profile". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  10. Deceglie, Anthony (14 August 2010). "WA hostie and the Danish golf star". Perth Now. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  11. Greenslade, Nick (21 September 2014). "Mamma mia! 'Barmy' Dane is Bjorn again". The Times. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  12. Sundling, Anders (28 December 2015). "Thomas Bjørns talentfulde datter: Jul uden far" [Thomas Bjørns talented daughter: Christmas without father] (in Danish). Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  13. "Bjorn a supporter of Liverpool F.C." PGA European Tour. Retrieved 7 September 2011.