Thomas Bjorn back in a troubled state of mind
Thomas Bjorn, a Dane battling his way through a dark period, is coming back for more at the Scottish Open, which starts here tomorrow.
A week ago in Dublin, Bjorn, who is ranked 35th in the world, played only six holes in the European Open before walking off the course, his mind and game in turmoil.
The European Tour, a more sensitive body than many give it credit for, decided not to fine him and yesterday the 33-year-old launched into a soliloquy of explanation.
"Sometimes you get to situations in life and in golf where it plays so many tricks on you that you start thinking about things that you shouldn't think about, and I have seen so many examples over the years of people battling their way through golf rounds and tournaments and not getting any better and sometimes you need to put a bit of perspective on what it is you are doing.
"I felt awful out there and I can only apologise to the European Tour and to some extent my fellow players. People will look and say, 'What is your problem? It is not like a disaster,' but the last three months I have just lost my way mentally and with my swing and in the end it [the golf course] was not the place for me to be. I felt uncomfortable and I took the consequences and have taken steps to try and get myself back to where I want to be.
"I spent a lot of time on Friday and Saturday on my own thinking about what I wanted to do. It was just a question of cleaning out my head and saying, 'These are the people I want to work with; these are the people who brought me to where I am'."
Bjorn rang Pete Cowen, his long-time coach whom he had discarded earlier this year, and admitted he had made a mistake. They had a four-hour meeting on Sunday and decided on a course of action. Bjorn also contacted Kjell Enhager, a mental coach who had worked with him previously, and the Swede has been on hand here.
"The last couple of days my attitude to the game and myself has grown," said Bjorn, "and I have seen improvements in my swing and how I feel about my game."
He might have taken time off had it not been for the Loch Lomond event, which he won in 1996, and, of course, the Open next week.
Runner-up last year at Sandwich, after throwing the championship away with a triple-bogey six at the short 16th, Bjorn insisted that he would go to Royal Troon next week "with a lot of positives".
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