Thomas Björn has been named The 2011 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for August following his epic five-man sudden-death play-off victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
The 40 year old Dane, who receives an engraved alms dish and a jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne for winning Golfer of the Month, claimed his 12th European Tour victory in thrilling fashion as he collected his second trophy of the season following the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy.
Björn overcame Bernd Wiesberger, Pablo Larrazabal, Mark Foster and then, finally, George Coetzee with scores of par-par-birdie-birdie-birdie at the formidable par five 18th hole of the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles to claim an unforgettable victory.
Björn’s third win of the season at the Omega European Masters – just seven days after his play-off epic in Scotland – will make him a serious contender for September’s Golfer of the Month competition, but it was that stunning play-off win at Gleneagles alone that secured him the August award.
“The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month Award is a very nice to way to have your level of performance recognised. It is a reward for all the hard work that I put in to get back to winning ways again.
“It’s been a long time since I won one of these awards and it’s nice to be chosen by the judging panel. Sometimes it’s a struggle to stay focussed the week after winning, and in my first round at Crans I was two over par after the first four holes. However, I finished the day strongly and improved with each round. Not many people win back-to-back so it was a really enjoyable experience.”
While Björn was the unanimous choice for the August Award, the judging panel – which comprised members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from radio and television – also recognised the outstanding performances of several European Tour Members for their exploits around the world.
Björn’s countryman Anders Hansen continued his formidable form with a career-best third place finish at the final Major of the year, the US PGA Championship; Oliver Fisher secured his long-awaited maiden victory at the Czech Open and Luke Donald continued the path of sustained excellence that has enabled him to establish himself as the World Number One by finishing tied second at the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational and then tied eighth at the US PGA.
Björn joins an illustrious list of Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month winners in 2011, following Martin Kaymer (January), Donald (February and May), Paul Lawrie (March), Charl Schwartzel (April), Rory McIlroy (June) and Darren Clarke (July). Björn will now join his fellow award winners to be considered for The 2011 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award, which was won jointly by Graeme McDowell and Kaymer in 2010.