Bjorn toughs it out in Qatar

BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2011 Qatar Masters | Wrap | 07 Feb 2011

39 year old Thomas Bjorn today made it 11 European Tour victories with an impressive four shot win at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha.

Currently ranked 134 in the world, Bjorn’s last win came in mid 2010 although that was four years after his previous victory to that which had come with his win at the 2006 Irish Open. The victory could well move him inside the top 60 in the world and could potentially see him at the Accenture World Match Play in three weeks time.

“I said yesterday it was going to be one of those days where it’s a question of hanging in, and that’s all I did earlier on, said Bjorn in his post tournament press conference. “I didn’t play particularly well for at least the first six holes. I was really struggling and didn’t hit any fairways, and just kept holing a few putts for pars.

“I knew it was going to be a tough day. But from there on, I started playing a lot better and got more control over the ball and just felt like, just keep making pars. I stood on the 10th tee with a four-shot lead and I knew it was going to be difficult, if I parred every hole on the back nine, it’s going to be difficult for them to catch me.

“I think conditions like today favour players that have got experience and know that a lot of things can happen. I drew a lot on my experience today; knowing when Alvaro got close to me, knowing to not try and chase it too much, just keep making pars.”

Bjorn recovered from a slow start to the tournament when recording an opening round of 74 in difficult conditions on Thursday and by Saturday evening he had a one shot lead heading into the final round.

All week, strong winds have buffeted the Doha Golf Club’s layout but Bjorn was faultless over the closing 54 holes, recording only one bogey in that period. Today, although joined briefly in the lead when Markus Brier birdied the first, he was never behind and eventually extended his margin to four with three birdies in his final four holes.

Quiros crept within one when he bogeyed the 14th but his bogey at the 15th and Bjorn’s birdie on that same hole created a cushion for the Dane.

Quiros did however continue a remarkable run in this event having won it in 2009 and fished runner-up in each of the last two years.

Early tournament leader, Markus Brier, finished third along with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello while England’s David Howell was 5th.

The surprise of the tournament was perhaps the missed cut of Lee Westwood, his first in more than twelve months. Martin Kaymer, the world number two, finished 28th.

The leading Australasian and the only one to make the cut was New Zealander Mark Brown who finished 59th.

The European Tour now moves further down the Gulf to Dubai for this week’s Dubai Desert Classic.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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