20 Questions: European EurAsia and Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on his love of tennis and THAT tee shot at the 2003 Open
How old were you when you first broke par?
It would have been at my home course in Silkeborg in Denmark. I was probably 13 or 14, and I think I was one or two-under-par.
Highlight of your career so far?
The Ryder Cups are great and give me a lot of memories. But winning the Dubai Desert Classic in 2001 is something that really stands out. Playing with Tiger for four days, at a time when he was at his peak, and winning the event was pretty special.
Best shot to date?
I’ve hit a lot of good shots over the years [laughs]. The most important shot was my tee shot at Loch Lomond in ’96 on the last hole [of the Scottish Open]. I hit a really good drive when I had to. It was a really difficult shot and I can still see the line now.
Biggest strength of your game?
I think I’m quite good at working my way around a golf course. I don’t hit it particularly long, but my short game is fairly reliable and I’d say I was a thinking man’s golfer.
One mulligan you could have?
It would have to be the tee shot on the 16th at The Open in 2003. It wasn’t a particularly bad shot, but it ended up in the bunker and it became a bit of a nightmare from there.
Favourite individual hole?
The 13th at Augusta. When you sit on that tee, it’s the only place at The Masters where you are away from everything, away from the crowds. You can hear people playing behind and the noise from the [Augusta] Country Club. Then you come around the corner and see the trees, the bushes and the azaleas. It makes you want to hit a shot into the green.
Favourite course worldwide?
It would be a toss-up between Sawgrass and Augusta. The Masters is totally unique, but I think Sawgrass provides you with a course that asks you a question about every shot you want to play.
Favourite course in Europe?
Loch Lomond. I think it’s a fantastic design and really enjoyable to play. I love it. It’s a big, big shame that we don’t play there anymore.
Best view in golf?
Seven, eight, nine and 10 at Pebble Beach. You can’t get much better than that.
Best mate on Tour?
I have quite a lot who I spend time with, but Thorbjørn Olesen is probably my closest friend.
Favourite non-golf sports event?
Probably Wimbledon. I’ve been a few times and it’s a great event to go to. It has a lot of traditions, a bit like our Open Championship, so I appreciate everything that comes with it.
Favourite sports team?
Sportsman you most admire?
When I was young, it was always Michael Johnson. But since I’ve grown older, it would probably be Roger [Federer]. What he’s achieved and the style and class he’s shown doing it is incredible.
Steffi Graf was always the one. She was magnificent at playing the game and I appreciated the way she ground her opponents down.
It would be between The Shawshank Redemption and Wedding Crashers. I remember watching Wedding Crashers with Ian Poulter and I had never laughed so much in my life.
Not to be missed TV show?
One of the best things I watched was the Danish series called The Killing. I thought that was really well done.
I don’t really have one. I’ll listen to pretty much anything but people get fascinated by artists and their lyrics, and associate their lives with di erent songs, but I’ve never been like that.
Favourite holiday destination?
Dubai. The weather is great; the food and the beaches are great. It provides you with everything.
Who would be in your dream celebrity fourball?
Good old Winston Churchill, JFK and [Nelson] Mandela.
And your ideal Tour fourball?
Jack Nicklaus, Arnie and probably Tiger.