Wednesday, 01 February 2012
Thomas Bjorn   (Getty Images)
Thomas Bjorn (Getty Images)
Defending champion Thomas Björn believes he needs to continue enjoying his golf in order to emulate the success he enjoyed in 2011.

The Dane followed his Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy triumph with victories at the Johnnie Walker Championship and Omega European Masters.

“It's nice to come back as defending champion or you come back to a golf course you won on, it always gives you those memories,” he said.

“But you also come in with a point that it's a new season, a new tournament ahead of you, so you’ve got to try and prepare yourself a little bit for what's ahead of you in the week. 

“I’m looking forward to it, coming off a good week last week. I played quite well through most parts of last season and off to a decent start this year, so it's nice to come into this week.

“I made a decision two years ago - I went through a spell of not finding golf all that much fun anymore, and maybe a little bit of falling out of love with the game and the traveling.

“So I made a decision that if I was going to play this game, I wanted to be able to be competitive and play with the best players in the world, and to do that I had to totally refocus myself on golf. 

“So where a lot of people see the results last year as a return to form, it was probably something that started quite a bit sooner than that for me, total recommitment to the game of golf.  And I'm comfortable on the golf course, I enjoy my travels, I enjoy being out here, and I promised myself that I was going to have a good finish to my career.”

One player who did not enjoy such a good year in 2011 was Graeme McDowell, who struggled to follow up an incredible 2010 campaign that saw him win the US Open Championship and hole the winning putt at the Ryder Cup.

“There was a four or five month spell in the middle of the season where things were a little bit pear shaped,” said the Northern Irishman. 

“But the start of the season was strong and the end of the season was strong, and overall I came out feeling pretty decent about 2011.”

Asked about targeting a spot on The Ryder Cup Team to play in Chicago at the end of September, McDowell added: “I think that's a big goal, for sure.

“I'm nicely in the mix, which was where I wanted to be. It's definitely a goal for the season - I know if I'm on that team in September I'll have had a decent season. 

“It's going to be probably one of the most competitive teams in many years, and there's so many top players here in Europe and the strength and depth in the field is there for all to see. There's going to be good players that are going to miss that team and I don't want to be one of those players.” 

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