Thomas Bjorn fires 62 for banner day at PGA Championship

The Dane Thomas Bjorn carded eight birdies and an eagle to equal the course record set by Sweden’s Robert Karlsson in 2010 and has an early first round lead at the PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn plays a shot from the fairway during the first round of the PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club on Thursday.Adam Davy / PA
Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn plays a shot from the fairway during the first round of the PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club on Thursday.Adam Davy / PA

Thomas Bjorn hailed what he viewed as the best round of his entire career after carding a 62 in the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday at Wentworth, England.

Bjorn carded eight birdies and an eagle to equal the course record set by Sweden’s Robert Karlsson in 2010.

“You shoot great rounds in your career but to shoot 62 on this course, you can’t ask for more,” said Bjorn, who went on to win the European Masters in 2011 the last time he shot 62 on the European Tour.

“I don’t really know where to start. Last week was awful (he missed the cut in the Spanish Open) and I was starting to feel a little frustrated with things.

“To step out on this course of all courses and play like I did today was surprising. It was just one of those days where you walk off the course and think I want to keep playing.”

Bjorn, who looks set to qualify for his first Ryder Cup appearance since 2002, birdied the second, fourth and seventh to reach the turn in 32 before a superb scoring burst on the back nine.

The 43-year-old Dane birdied the 10th and 11th, holed from just six feet for an eagle on the par-five 12th before picking up further birdies on the 14th, 16th and 18th.

Despite living on the Wentworth estate for nine years, Bjorn’s best finish in the tournament is a share of fifth back in 1998, although he also lost in the final of the World Match Play Championship here in 2003.

“It’s not a place where I think it’s going to be a great week, but I have to stick my head down now and focus on the rest of the week.”

Meanwhile, Jose Maria Olazabal, is confident the European Tour and Ivan Ballesteros, nephew of the late Seve, can resolve their differences over the EurAsia Cup team event that was held in Kuala Lumpur in March.

Ivan Ballesteros, co-managing director of the rival Royal Trophy team competition staged in China in December, said two months ago the inaugural EurAsia tournament was “an act of aggression” from the organisers, the European Tour and the Asian Tour.

He said that five-time major champion Seve had written to the chairman of the Asian Tour shortly before his death in 2011 to say the Royal Trophy had “a very special place in my heart”.

The European Tour and Asian Tour responded by saying the Seve Ballesteros Foundation charity fully supported the new event.

“I know the Royal Trophy was Seve’s idea and that’s why a lot of players wanted to play in that event,” Olazabal said.

“I believe (European Tour chief executive) George O’Grady is trying to have talks with Ivan to see if they can find some common ground. It’s not going to change in a couple of meetings or a couple of hours, but I’m pretty sure they can come to a solution that will make both parties happy.”

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Published: May 22, 2014 04:00 AM

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