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Golf Australia Express : Issue 10
FOR THOMAS Björn, golf life really has begun at 40. Or it has, at least, been born again. Securing his third European Tour event win of the year at the Omega European Masters, he joined only world No.1 Luke Donald to achieve that feat. He’s now back in the world top 30 and leads the European team’s 2012 Ryder Cup race, which started this week at Crans-sur-Sierre. It was back-to-back wins for the Dane, who also won last week’s Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Björn fired a blistering 9-under par 62 in the final round to European Masters—his four-shot victory was his first career back-to-back win in his 16 years on the European Tour. The 62 matched his lowest round of his career, as he turned a three-shot deficit into a four-shot lead over Germany’s Martin Kaymer. Kaymer seemed to have the tournament in his control mid-way through the back nine on Sunday. But the normally meticulous BACK-TO-BACK BJÖRN Kraut missed a two-foot putt for birdie at the 14th that would’ve taken him two clear of Björn. And the Dane made him pay for the careless mistake, birdieing the same hole and eagling the next. Two closing birdies in the final three holes sealed his fate. “ The way I finished was special and it’s been an amazing two weeks,” Björn said after going 5-under for the last five holes. “At the end you think nothing can go wrong. Golf seems easy sometimes and you have to remember that when you are not playing well.” With 31-under in his last eight rounds of golf, there’s no shortage of positive images should Björn hit troubled times soon. Kaymer finished the event with 10 straight pars and in lone second place. Joint third were Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, South African Jaco Van Zyl and overnight leader Welshman Jamie Donaldson. McIlroy, playing for the first time since he hurt his wrist at the PGA Championship called it a “bittersweet week”. “Coming back off the injury I didn’t know what to expect. To get myself into contention was great and the arm felt 100 per cent healthy, which is a huge positive,” he said. “Even if I had played well I don’t know if I would have been able to catch Thomas.” The win in Switzerland makes Björn one of golf’s biggest improvers. He finished 2010 with a world ranking of 124. Two weeks ago he was No 70. He’s now No.27. And he’s no doubt happy to again be in the 20s. OTG WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE EUROPEN TOUR FINAL STANDINGS 1 THOMAS BJÖRN DEN -20 € 333,330 2 MARTIN KAYMER GER -16 € 222,220 T3 JAMIE DONALDSON WAL -15 € 103,333 T3 RORY MCILROY NIR -15 € 103,333 T3 JACO VAN ZYL RSA -15 € 103,333 T6 F. ANDERSSON HED SWE -14 € 60,000 T6 DAVID LYNN ENG -14 € 60,000 T6 LEE WESTWOOD ENG -14 € 60,000 T9 ALEJANDRO CANIZARES ESP -13 € 40,533 T9 M. ANGEL JIMENEZ ESP -13 € 40,533 T9 ALEXANDER NOREN SWE -13 € 40,533 WRAP THE