Thomas Bjørn

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Thomas Bjørn
Thomas Bjorn 2011 Omega European Masters.png
Bjørn with the Omega European Masters trophy in 2011
Personal information
Full nameThomas Bjørn
NicknameThe Great Dane[1]
Born (1971-02-18) 18 February 1971 (age 50)
Silkeborg, Denmark
Height1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight88 kg (194 lb; 13.9 st)
Nationality Denmark
ResidenceSilkeborg, Denmark
Gothenburg, Sweden
Oliver and Julia (twins)
Turned professional1993
Current tour(s)European Tour
PGA Tour Champions
European Senior Tour
Professional wins21
Highest ranking10 (15 July 2001)[2]
Number of wins by tour
European Tour15
Japan Golf Tour2
Asian Tour2
Sunshine Tour1
Challenge Tour4
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT8: 2014
PGA ChampionshipT2: 2005
U.S. OpenT22: 2001
The Open ChampionshipT2: 2000, 2003
Achievements and awards
Sir Henry Cotton
Rookie of the Year
Challenge Tour
Rankings winner

Thomas Bjørn (born 18 February 1971) is a professional golfer from Denmark who plays on the European Tour. He is the most successful Danish golfer to have played the game having won fifteen tournaments worldwide on the European Tour. In 1997 he also became the first Dane to qualify for a European Ryder Cup team. He captained the winning European side at the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Professional career[edit]

Bjørn started his career playing on the Challenge Tour from 1993 to 1995. In 1995 he won four tournaments on the Challenge Tour to earn his card for his debut year on the European Tour in 1996. Bjørn made his breakthrough immediately winning his maiden tour title in his debut season at the Loch Lomond World Invitational. He became the first golfer from Denmark to win a tournament on the European Tour.[3] He finished the 1996 season placed tenth on the Order of Merit.

The follow up season in 1997 was steady with a number of top ten finishes without a win, however Bjørn did not have long to wait until his next win arrived. He won early in the 1998 season in Perth, Australia taking the Heineken Classic for his second European Tour title. Despite an over par final round of 74, Bjørn won by a single stroke from Ian Woosnam. In April 1998, after a five-week break from competitive golf, Bjørn won for the second time that year at the Peugeot Open de Espana after a final round 66 took him to 21 under and one stroke ahead of the chasing pack. He later said: "I didn’t really expect this after taking five weeks off, but when your confidence has gone like mine did after winning in Perth, it just shows it’s best to take a break and regroup."[4] After his two wins he finished the year 6th on the Order of Merit.

After a winless period due to injuries and the birth of his first child, Bjørn returned to the winner's circle in October 1999 at the Sarazen World Open. This was his fourth career European Tour win and after an unspectacular year, he jumped up the standings to finish the season 14th on the Order of Merit.

He has finished in the top ten on the Order of Merit eight times with a best finish of fifth in 2000. He has come close to winning a major championship at the 2003 Open Championship when he was in the lead with 4 holes to play before a slump handed victory to Ben Curtis. At the 2005 PGA Championship, he was tied for the lead before finishing as runner-up to Phil Mickelson in a second-place tie with Steve Elkington.

Bjørn picked up his first European Tour win in four years and 10th of his career in 2010 at the Estoril Open de Portugal, winning with a score of 23-under-par, five better than Richard Green. He followed this with three more wins at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters in February 2011, Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in August 2011, winning in a five-man playoff on the fifth extra hole, birdieing the final three holes and Omega European Masters in September 2011. In December 2013, Bjørn won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.[5] It was Bjørn's 14th career European Tour win.

Bjørn was a member of the winning European Ryder Cup teams in 1997, 2002 and 2014. He also captained the 2018 European Ryder Cup team, winning over United States with 17½ points to 10½ at Le Golf National, Paris, France.

He made the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for one week in 2001 after a second-place finish at the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.[6][7]

In 2005 and 2006, Bjørn sponsored the Thomas Bjørn Open, an event on the Challenge Tour played in his home country.[8] In 2007, Bjørn was elected chairman of the European Tour's tournament committee.

Bjørn's last name is sometimes written Björn or Bjorn outside Denmark. The Danish (and Norwegian) letter 'ø' represents approximately the same sound as 'ö' in German and Swedish. Literally translated, his surname means bear in Danish.

Personal life[edit]

Bjørn has three children, Filippa and twins Oliver and Julia with his former wife Pernilla. Bjørn currently resides in London.[9] Perth-born air stewardess Dagmara Leniartek had a five-year affair with Bjørn. Bjørn initially cut relations with Leniartek and denied he was the father of her daughter. However, Danish media reported a DNA test had subsequently proved Bjørn was the father of the child – a girl named Isabella.[10][11][12]

Bjørn is a football fan and a keen follower of Liverpool F.C. Alongside football he also states his other interest to be movies.[13]

Professional wins (21)[edit]

European Tour wins (15)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 22 Sep 1996 Loch Lomond World Invitational −11 (70-68-69-70=277) 1 stroke France Jean van de Velde
2 1 Feb 1998 Heineken Classic −8 (70-68-68-74=280) 1 stroke Wales Ian Woosnam
3 26 Apr 1998 Peugeot Open de España −21 (68-67-66-66=267) 1 stroke Australia Greg Chalmers, Spain José María Olazábal
4 17 Oct 1999 Sarazen World Open −15 (66-69-70-68=273) 2 strokes Switzerland Paolo Quirici, Japan Katsuyoshi Tomori
5 3 Sep 2000 BMW International Open −20 (69-63-69-67=268) 3 strokes Germany Bernhard Langer
6 4 Mar 2001 Dubai Desert Classic −22 (64-66-67-69=266) 2 strokes Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington, United States Tiger Woods
7 1 Sep 2002 BMW International Open (2) −24 (68-64-66-66=264) 4 strokes England John Bickerton, Germany Bernhard Langer
8 15 May 2005 Daily Telegraph Dunlop Masters −6 (73-68-73-68=282) Playoff England Brian Davis, England David Howell
9 21 May 2006 Nissan Irish Open −5 (78-66-67-72=283) 1 stroke England Paul Casey
10 13 Jun 2010 Estoril Open de Portugal −23 (67-65-65-68=265) 5 strokes Australia Richard Green
11 6 Feb 2011 Commercialbank Qatar Masters −14 (74-65-66-69=274) 4 strokes Spain Álvaro Quirós
12 28 Aug 2011 Johnnie Walker Championship
at Gleneagles
−11 (68-69-71-69=277) Playoff South Africa George Coetzee, England Mark Foster,
Spain Pablo Larrazábal, Austria Bernd Wiesberger
13 4 Sep 2011 Omega European Masters1 −20 (68-68-66-62=264) 4 strokes Germany Martin Kaymer
14 8 Sep 2013 Omega European Masters1 (2) −20 (66-66-67-65=264) Playoff Scotland Craig Lee
15 8 Dec 2013
(2014 season)
Nedbank Golf Challenge2 −20 (67-70-66-65=268) 2 strokes Wales Jamie Donaldson, Spain Sergio García

1Co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour
2Co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour

European Tour playoff record (3–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2003 Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington Lost to par on first extra hole
2 2003 Nissan Irish Open New Zealand Michael Campbell, Sweden Peter Hedblom Campbell won with birdie on first extra hole
3 2005 Daily Telegraph Dunlop Masters England Brian Davis, England David Howell Won with par on second extra hole
Davis eliminated by par on first hole
4 2011 Johnnie Walker Championship
at Gleneagles
South Africa George Coetzee, England Mark Foster,
Spain Pablo Larrazábal, Austria Bernd Wiesberger
Won with birdie on fifth extra hole
Foster eliminated by par on fourth hole
Larrazábal eliminated by par on second hole
Wiesberger eliminated by par on first hole
5 2013 Omega European Masters Scotland Craig Lee Won with birdie on first extra hole

Japan Golf Tour wins (2)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 21 Nov 1999 Dunlop Phoenix Tournament −14 (69-66-68-67=270) Playoff Spain Sergio García
2 23 Nov 2003 Dunlop Phoenix Tournament (2) −12 (67-65-69-71=272) 2 strokes Japan Daisuke Maruyama

Japan Golf Tour playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1999 Dunlop Phoenix Tournament Spain Sergio García Won with birdie on fourth extra hole

Challenge Tour wins (4)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 11 Jun 1995 Himmerland Open1 E (70-70-76=216) Playoff Finland Anssi Kankkonen, Belgium Nicolas Vanhootegem
2 23 Jul 1995 Interlaken Open −16 (64-71-65=200) 3 strokes Switzerland André Bossert
3 13 Aug 1995 Esbjerg Pro-Am −4 (73-75-64=212) Playoff Denmark Ben Tinning
4 28 Aug 1995 Coca-Cola Open −8 (70-70-69-71=280) 1 stroke Sweden Freddie Jacobson

1Co-sanctioned by the Swedish Golf Tour

Playoff record[edit]

Other playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponents Result
1 2001 WGC-World Cup
(with Denmark Søren Hansen)
 New ZealandMichael Campbell and David Smail,
 South AfricaRetief Goosen and Ernie Els,
 United StatesDavid Duval and Tiger Woods
South Africa won with par on second extra hole
New Zealand and United States eliminated by birdie on first hole

Results in major championships[edit]

Thomas Bjørn
Tournament 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament CUT
U.S. Open T68 T25 CUT
The Open Championship CUT CUT T9 T30
PGA Championship T45 CUT T70
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament T28 CUT T18 CUT T25 T32 CUT
U.S. Open T46 T22 T37 CUT CUT T52 T48 CUT
The Open Championship T2 CUT T8 T2 CUT CUT T41 T53
PGA Championship 3 T63 CUT CUT T2 CUT T62
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Masters Tournament T37 T46 T8 CUT
U.S. Open CUT
The Open Championship CUT 4 T54 T73 T26 CUT
PGA Championship CUT T48 CUT CUT T48 CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 1 3 12 7
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 2 12 7
The Open Championship 0 2 0 3 5 5 18 11
PGA Championship 0 1 1 2 2 2 16 8
Totals 0 3 1 5 8 12 58 33
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 6 (1999 Open Championship – 2000 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (2000 Open Championship – 2000 PGA)

Results in The Players Championship[edit]

Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
The Players Championship T22 CUT T22 T22 WD 69 CUT
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Results in World Golf Championships[edit]

Results not in chronological order prior to 2015.

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Championship T59 T40 NT1 T27 T28 2 WD T41 T11 T28 T24 T44 WD
Match Play R32 R16 R64 R32 R64 R64 R32 R64 R64 R32
Invitational T10 T31 T15 T61 18 T18 T68 T40 T15 69
Champions T42 T21 T39 T41

1Cancelled due to 9/11

  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = Withdrew
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = Tied
NT = No tournament
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Team appearances[edit]



Ryder Cup points record
1997 1999 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Total
1.5 - 2 - - - - - 0.5 4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Great Dane's Challenge Tour legacy". PGA European Tour. 16 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Week 28 2001 Ending 15 Jul 2001" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  3. ^ "First Danish winner on the European Tour". PGA European Tour. 22 September 1996. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Bjorn wins for the second time in two months". PGA European Tour. 26 April 1998. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Nedbank Challenge: Thomas Bjorn wins by two shots in Sun City". BBC Sport. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  6. ^ 69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking
  7. ^ "Official World Golf Ranking – Week 28 – 2001" (PDF). 15 July 2001.
  8. ^ "Bjorn to sponsor new Danish event". BBC Sport. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Bjorn player profile". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  10. ^ Deceglie, Anthony (14 August 2010). "WA hostie and the Danish golf star". Perth Now. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  11. ^ Greenslade, Nick (21 September 2014). "Mamma mia! 'Barmy' Dane is Bjorn again". The Times. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  12. ^ Sundling, Anders (28 December 2015). "Thomas Bjørns talentfulde datter: Jul uden far" [Thomas Bjørns talented daughter: Christmas without father] (in Danish). Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Bjorn a supporter of Liverpool F.C." PGA European Tour. Retrieved 7 September 2011.

External links[edit]