Bjørn reborn at 40
There is a perceived wisdom in the world of golf punditry to bet on two types of player: the first-time father and recent inductees into the ‘Big Four-O’ club, which might explain the current form of Thomas Bjørn, 40, who on Sunday held his nerve to win the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in Scotland after a five-man play-off.
After finishing level with Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, South African George Coetzee and England's Mark Foster, Bjørn eventually secured victory at the fifth extra hole with his third birdie of the showdown.
“I think when you set out in a play-off with five guys, you're almost a little bit too relaxed because it takes a lot for it to go your way,” he told media afterwards. “But as we got rid of one at a time, all of a sudden it became very hard. But the way I played the last three play-off holes, I can't be more proud.”
Bjørn, who has now won 18 titles in his career – 12 on the European Tour – earlier in the year won the Qatar Masters just two weeks before his 40th birthday, before courageously returning to Sandwich, the scene of his 2003 British Open meltdown, to finish fourth.
The latest golf world rankings are due out later today and Bjørn is expect to break into the top 50 for the first time in over five years.