Thomas Bjørn’s week of celebration continued at the Made in Denmark with a presentation from European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley.
Following the remarkable scenes of Thursday afternoon, when thousands of the Great Dane’s adoring fans adorned masks of the man himself and serenaded him with a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ (the club anthem of his beloved Liverpool FC) as he scaled the now world famous Himmerland Hill, Bjørn was presented with a special video book celebrating his 500 appearances on the European Tour.
The specially commissioned book features a video and images of the highlights of an incredible European Tour career which started in 1996 and continues 21 years later with Bjørn now the captain of Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup team.
Between 1996 and the present day, Bjørn has become the most successful Danish golfer of all time – winning 15 times on Tour and making three victorious Ryder Cup appearances.
His impact on the tour extends way beyond that, however, with the 46 year old among the most influential players of the last two decades.
Much of that was down to his Chairmanship of the players’ Tournament Committee (a role he relinquished when he became Ryder Cup captain last year), which was the perfect job for a man whose passion and deep belief in the European Tour is unrivalled.
In what has been an overwhelmingly emotive week for Bjørn, he was delighted to receive his unique gift from the European Tour’s CEO.
“If you cut me open it would say European Tour inside me,” said Bjørn. “That’s the way it has always been and always will be. I strongly believe in this tour and the support I have had from the tour over the years is unbelievable.
“If I look back to working with first Ken Schofield, then George O’Grady and now Keith, it has been a wonderful journey and the tour has grown so much in the years I have been out here. This is a very nice presentation and it just reminds me how much the tour means to me. It’s everything that I am, so it’s a special day as part of a very special week. It also makes you realise you are getting quite old!
“It’s great to have this week to reflect on all the friendships I have made – the players, tour staff and fans have been amazing to me this week and it’s just been unbelievable.
“You have to have the European Tour in you. As professional golfers all we want to play golf first and foremost and that is what we should be doing but I have also had it in me that I want to see this tour grow and succeed and I have been very fortunate to have been able to get into a position where I have been able to have some influence on the tour overall and I have enjoyed that as much as I have my playing career. It’s just been such special journey and hopefully there’s a little more left to enjoy.”
Pelley said: “This has been an incredibly rewarding week for Thomas and he deserves nothing more after a career that saw him win 15 times on the European Tour – as well as winning the three Ryder Cups he played in – to become the most decorated Danish player in the history of our great game. And we certainly hope there is more success to come – specifically next year in Paris. We want nothing more than him to add ‘winning Ryder Cup captain’ to his incredible résumé.
“It’s amazing to see the reaction and reception he is getting this week. He is an icon in this country and deserves all of the plaudits he is receiving this week.
“I have to say that Thomas’s contribution to our tour extends way beyond what he achieved on the course. He was Chairman of the Tournament Committee for ten years and the unwavering passion that he brought to that role, and his sheer passion for making the tour as good as it can be, makes it a real pleasure for me to be here to thank him on behalf of everyone at the European Tour for everything he has done for us.”