Happy memories encourage Bjørn

Thomas Bjørn is hoping the memories he gained from winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge last year can spur him on in his defence this week.


The Dane produced a stunning display on his way to lifting the trophy at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City last December.


Bjørn completed a brilliant final round of 65, shooting four under par on the back nine with two eagles, to finish two shots ahead of Sergio Garcia.


The 43 year old described the feat as one of the best days of his career and is looking to replicate that performance this time around.


The 15 time European Tour winner said: “It’s one of those that you get in the plane to fly down and all of the memories start coming back. Certainly, when you drive in here it’s a nice place to come back to.


“Last year was a very special week. I came in with some very good form and just carried it out through the week. Sunday was a great day in so many ways.


“It was a tough battle with good players up there, but I had that back nine that you need sometimes, where things just go your way, but also you take advantage of it.


“You come in this year and I’ve struggled a little bit of late. It’s a bit of a different feeling, but I like the golf course and it’s always great to come here.


“I’ve played well here in the past, not only last year, but I’ve always seemed to have a good eye for the course. Hopefully when the gun goes tomorrow we’re there with the game and can put in a strong defence.


“What will be, will be, but it’s certainly a great place to come to.”


With the US$6.5million event representing the start of the 2015 season, Bjørn knows a strong defence would be ideal.


His victory here last year was significant in him securing a place on the European Ryder Cup team.


Bjørn said: “You want to get off to a start. It was a nice feeling to sit at the top of that money list all the way until sometime in July when a certain person (Rory McIlroy) went on a run of golf tournaments that we haven’t seen since Tiger Woods in the early 2000s. It was nice to sit there. It gives you confidence, it gives you belief.


“There are tournaments to be played and this is a great event. Somebody is going to kick start their year in a great way. For me it was certainly a big boost last season.


"I’m 43 pushing on 44, but the way I felt going into 2014 was more like I was 30 again.


“That’s a pretty nice feeling. There are a lot of times in your mind at this age when you wonder when it will end. When you get your confidence back then age doesn’t matter. We’re fortunate that we’ve got Miguel (Angel Jimenez) here and we can see that it can last for a long time.


“I just want to kick on and try to enjoy my golf and the last few years of my career. I’d like to be competitive, and you can only do that with hard work.”


Bjørn admits adapting to the course early will be vital to his chances this week.


“It’s a testing golf course,” he said. “When you come in here playing well then it’s a great golf course to play.


“If you come in here not playing too well then it’s a beast to get around. That’s the nature of a good golf course and we know that this offers a great spectacle of a tournament.


“You’re always amazed by how good the scoring is around here. In the early days of the week you think it’s tough, but when the gun goes then the scoring goes really low. It’s a magnificent golf course to play.”


From europeantour.com


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