Danish Ryder Cup extraordinaire and winner 13 times on the European Tour, Thomas Björn, has not qualified to this year’s Open Championship yet, though he might be the hottest player on tour right now.
Björn’s last triumph came in 2011 when he won three times (Qatar, Gleneagles and Crans-sur-Sierre), but last year’s Ryder Cup vice captain has been the runner up in his last two tournaments (Lyoness Open and BMW Championship Open), and just before that, he came in fourth and in his last five tournament’s he has carded a top 8 result.
In such a shape you should think Björn could have qualified at Sunningdale for his 16th Open this Monday as easy as tying his own shoes, but the man who took down Tiger Woods face to face over 72 holes in Dubai in 2001, when the American was at the peak of his game, chose not to take a shot at the qualification in England.
Björn withdrew, claiming that he is too old to play 36 holes in one day and compete on tour at the same time. Instead he would focus on playing good the next few weeks and qualify via new top results in this week’s Irish Open on Carton House and next week’s French Open. Last chance is Scottish Open in three weeks.
This Thursday Björn began the Irish Open as the latest winner of the tournament on Carton Houses Montgomerie Course and carded a 68 to begin the second round on Friday two shot from the leader Oscar Floren.
In 2006, Björn finished first round of the tournament in 78 shots, and over the next three days, he embarked on a 54-hole journey in 66, 67 and 72 shots that equaled the greatest comeback in European Tour history and grabbed the title at 5-under-par, one shot ahead of Paul Casey and two shots ahead of Darren Clarke.
Don’t be surprised if the Dane pull off another remarkable stunt this week.