Thomas Björn Bolsters Race to Dubai Hopes
8 September 2011Back to Archive
DUBAI (UAE): Thomas Björn strengthened his position in The Race to Dubai bonus pool positions with his third win of the season in the Omega European Masters, while Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer both kept up pressure on leader Luke Donald following top three finishes in Crans-sur-Sierre.
Björn’s victory in Switzerland, his second consecutive European Tour triumph following his win in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, moved him up one position into seventh place in The Race to Dubai, overtaking Open Champion Darren Clarke.
The Dane has earned €1,381,444 so far this season, already making it his fourth most lucrative campaign in 16 seasons on The European Tour with more than three months, and the $7,500,000 Dubai World Championship presented by DP World, still to play.
“I’ve moved up a place in The Race to Dubai and I want to end the season strongly,” said the 40 year old. “I’m in a good position. I’m a bit off the lead obviously but I’m in a position where I can get a large part of the bonus pool. To win three times in one season is a marvellous achievement and I’ve reached a good level of consistency now. Hopefully I can continue that through to the Dubai World Championship.”
Bjorn’s resurgence may have surprised a few in the game but not world-respected golf coach Pete Cowen. “When he gets into the right frame of mind Thomas is always going to be a threat as he is a massively talented golfer - and definitely one of the best wedge players in the world,” said Cowen who has overseen Bjorn’s work with fellow coach Mike Walker.
“Mike has been working with Thomas for the past couple of years and they will continue to work together when Thomas spends the winter months in Dubai later this year.
“Our aim has been to make sure his body works more efficiently. It’s like a piece of music. If you play the music perfectly, all the notes are in the right place - but if your sequence is out then that’s when things start to go wrong.”
McIlroy also moved up one position in The Race to Dubai with his share of third place behind Björn in the Omega European Masters. The US Open Champion is now second in the season standings and although he is €1,739,404 behind Donald, he feels he can still challenge the Englishman with a strong end to the season.
“I feel healthy after the wrist injury - I feel 100 per cent and that’s a positive sign heading towards the end of the season,” said the Northern Irishman.
With Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel in third position, Kaymer’s second place finish in Switzerland meant the German leapfrogged Lee Westwood into fourth in The Race to Dubai, which he won in 2010.
South African Jaco Van Zyl moved into the top 60 positions that will earn a spot in the end of season Dubai World Championship courtesy of his tied third place at Crans-sur-Sierre. Van Zyl is up to 44th position from 66th.
Complimentary tickets for the 2011 Dubai World Championship presented by DP World - held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council - are available from the website DubaiWorldChampionship.com.
Note to Editors
The Race to Dubai on The 2011 European Tour International Schedule features 52 tournaments played at 29 destinations, culminating in the Dubai World Championship, presented by DP World, over the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
This third edition of The Race to Dubai carries a prize fund of $7.5 million and a Bonus Pool of $7.5 million to be divided between the leading 15 players at the conclusion of the season.
The potential audience reach of The Race to Dubai events across the Tour’s global broadcast platforms encompasses almost 500,000,000 households (live/delayed transmissions); 218,000,000 (highlights) and around 350,000,000 via the weekly magazine show, European Tour Weekly.