Thomas Björn’s tied eighth finish at last week’s Masters Tournament moved the Dane top in The 2014 Race to Dubai and further strengthened his bid for a third Ryder Cup appearance at Gleneagles come September.
His best result in ten appearances at Augusta National, Björn’s top ten saw him leapfrog Welshman Jamie Donaldson into pole position on The European Tour money list on €1,202,769 after building on his lucrative win at the Nedbank Golf Challenge last December with a string of solid performances since.
The 43 year old, who last played in The Ryder Cup 12 years ago when Sam Torrance captained the European team to victory at the Belfry in England, remains third in the European Points List and on course to make Paul McGinley’s side for the biennial clash against the United States later on this year.
“Yeah there are a lot of great things that come with it,” said Björn on his fine finish at Augusta. “The positive feelings about the next three Major Championships and getting your nose in early in the season, it kind of gives you a boost to go on, knowing that your golf is going in the right direction.
“So I'll take a lot of great things from here while quietly being a little bit disappointed. But you're supposed to be, I guess [if you don’t win].”
Björn finished eight shots behind eventual winner Bubba Watson after closing out the opening Major Championship of the year with a two over par 74, but said the experience at the famous Georgia layout had once again proved educational.
“I learned a lot about myself and this golf course these last two years,” he reflected. “I always felt like when I came in here it was too hard for me in some way, shape, or form.
“Last year I didn't play well at all and still managed to get myself around the golf course. This year, three rounds I played really, really well. Didn't putt as well as you have to on this golf course but now I actually feel like I can go into this golf tournament knowing that I can play it.”
Elsewhere, after finishing joint runner-up in his maiden appearance at Augusta, Sweden’s Jonas Blixt has moved up to 16th in the World Points List and is targeting a maiden berth at this year’s Ryder Cup.
He said: “It would be a lifelong dream to appear in The Ryder Cup. I’m going to do everything I can, absolutely everything, to be on that team.
“It’s up to Paul McGinley to make the decision on that. I’m going to try to play as well as I can so he doesn’t have a choice but to pick me. If I don’t make it, I want the Europeans to win and I’ll cheer and support them as much as I can, but I would love to be on that team.”
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