Bjorn back on form to win play-off at Gleneagles

THOMAS Bjorn produced “one of the best shots I’ve ever hit” to win a five-man play-off at the fifth extra hole in the £1.4 million Johnnie Walker Championship on a bitterly cold August afternoon in Perthshire.

The 40-year-old, who finished 151st from 156 starters in the same event two years ago, sealed a “special” victory, his second in the home of golf, by hitting a 7-iron from 147 yards to within two feet at the 18th for a title-winning birdie on the PGA Centenary Course.

It ended the challenge of South African rookie George Coetzee after Englishman Mark Foster, Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger had earlier bowed out in the sudden-death shoot-out for a top prize of £233,330.

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“I didn’t really see that coming after my two weeks in America,” said Bjorn in reference to him missing the cut comfortably in both the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the USPGA Championship earlier in the month. “But I played fantastic on Friday and I also played great today.

“I can’t be more proud of the way I played in the last three holes in the play-off. The 7-iron on the fifth play-off hole was probably one of the best golf shots I’ve ever hit. I had 135 metres to the flag, straight into the cold breeze.

“This is a special win due to the way it was done. I could easily have played myself out of the play-off on the first hole. I hit a poor tee shot there. But then I almost holed a bunker shot. The way I hit the shots when I had to, from three to five on the play-off holes, that’s right up there.”

Foster, a former English amateur champion, led by three shots with eight holes to play and was still one in front playing the last only to run up a bogey-6. It was the fourth time he had led in five European Tour events

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