CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, SWITZERLAND | Thomas
Björn was every bit as moved as you would expect after adding the Omega European Masters
to the Johnnie Walker he won the week before.
“Winning two weeks in a row, that’s for the
very few to do,” said the 40-year-old Dane. “I
am struggling to put words to it.”
His finish in Crans-sur-Sierre was a veri-
table snip compared to the five-way, five-hole
play-off which had left him so drained at
Gleneagles. This time around, he soared clear
of a potential extra-hole situation with a closing
run in which he was 5-under par from the 14th.
It left him with a 9-under-par 62 for the day
and 20-under 264 for the week. Martin Kaymer
came in second at 16 under, with Rory McIlroy
finishing in a share of third place with the up-and-coming Jamie Donaldson.
Björn had looked as if he could be in trouble
when he knocked his second towards the lake
at the 597 yards 14th. As it was, his ball cleared
the water by the proverbial whisker and he
went on to birdie the hole. When it came to the
next, he hit a sumptuous 3-iron to 12 feet to
pave the way for an eagle.
The winner would not have it that there was
anything surprising about coming out on top at
the age of 40 and beyond.
“You can’t,” he said, “think about writing
people off just because they are past that age.
Look at Darren (Clarke), look at Miguel Angel
Jimenez. Over 40s have got all the experience
and, when their confidence is up, they are as
good as anyone. For my part, I’m getting what I
deserve at the moment.”
He had said at Gleneagles that he wanted
to get off to the best possible start when the
Ryder Cup points list began in Switzerland and,
of course, he has done just that.
Kaymer, though suffering from flu, forged
into the early last-day lead when he pinned
down two eagles in his first five holes. To no
one’s surprise, the 2010 PGA champion was far
from unhappy with his performance: “It was a
good comeback from me.”
The German may be the leading qualifier for
the Continental side for the Vivendi Seve Trophy
but he will not be playing in the fixture. He feels he
needs a couple of weeks to shake off his illness.
No one remembered to advise the Alpine
horn players who have always done duty at the
prize-giving that everything had been put forward because of weather warnings. They were
much missed but there was a moving tribute to
Seve Ballesteros which had spectators riveted
to a big screen in the worst of the rain.
“Seve,” said Björn, simply, “was everything
to the game of golf.”
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