Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn admits he is in the twilight of his career ahead of British Masters

Thomas Bjorn, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari and Thorbjorn Olesen will all reunite at Walton Heath this week

Tom Kershaw
Wednesday 10 October 2018 15:35
Europe celebrate rousing victory in the 2018 Ryder Cup

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has admitted that his playing career may be coming to an end as he prepares for this week’s British Masters.

The 47-year-old’s last European Tour win came in December 2013 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa and he has since slipped to number 884 in the world rankings.

At yesterday’s Hero Golf Challenge event in Canary Wharf, a weary Bjorn admitted he was still recovering from “the best week of my life”.

"These next few months it's just about coming back down to earth and trying to find myself and figure out what's in store for me going forward," Bjorn said.

"I can't stand up and say, 'Okay, I'm going to go full at it now and that's the only focus I'm going to have', because that has left me, especially in the last 12 months.

"So I need a bit of time to figure out if I have that motivation. At 47, after pretty much two years away, it's going to take a lot of hard work to get back to playing good golf.

Europe captain Thomas Bjorn is doused in champagne

Bjorn celebrated by taking a short holiday to Ireland last week after the Ryder Cup ended but was so worn down by the week in Paris that he became ill.

"I don't think I've hit a ball since Denmark (the final qualifying event) and came down yesterday and stood on the range," Bjorn said. "The range is quite wide but it looked pretty narrow to me.

"But shooting 84 or 64 is not going to make any difference in my mind. I'm going to enjoy 2018 for what it has been and then figure out what is in store for me going forward.

Westwood rules himself out of 2020 Ryder Cup captaincy

Lee Westwood has pulled out of the race for the 2020 Ryder Cup captaincy causing Padraig Harrington to be cemented as the clear favourite to take over from Thomas Bjorn.

Lee Westwood is set to wait until 2022 to become Ryder Cup captain

Westwood had previously shown an interest in the role but it seemed Harrington had already somewhat been selected at the post-Ryder Cup press conference when both Bjorn and Rory McIlroy both praised the Irishman’s aptitude for the role.

A panel of the three previous European captains will make the final decision alongside members of the European Tour committee.

Bjorn will play alongside Westwood and Harrington at the British Masters at Walton Heath tomorrow but was keen to deflect from the importance of making any immediate decision.

"As much as when we lose, we try and just calm ourselves down, I think we also need to calm ourselves down when we win," Bjorn added. "We've got to let these 12 players enjoy this Ryder Cup and what was 2018 in Paris before we start looking forward to Whistling Straits.

"You can make these decisions too quickly and there's plenty of time. I think I found being announced as captain on the sixth of December in 2016, maybe having that role was a little bit too long for me in the sense that you're so eager to get going and there's nothing to get going with.

Moliwood happy to share number one status

Tommy Fleetwood says he will be happy if it's Francesco Molinari who succeeds him as the European number one.

Tommy Fleetwood celebrates victory with the crowd after the singles matches of the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National

The pair are one and two in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings but Molinari has pulled away thanks to a fabulous spate of form pioneered by his Open Championship victory at Carnoustie in July.

"I'm a long way behind," Fleetwood said. "But it's the opposite of last year in that I led all year last year and this year for the final few events I'm kind of chasing it now.

"I might get nowhere near and it's a stretch as a goal to think about it, but I'd love to play Dubai with a chance. I'd love to get in contention in a couple of events and maybe win one.

"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. It's kind of in Fran's hands a little bit, as well. There's probably people I would prefer to beat, but if it was me and Fran that it came down to either way I'm going to be more than happy, whichever way that would turn on.

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