‘Let’s see if we can break 90’: Tour veteran shocked by round after 10 months off

Thomas Bjorn celebrates putt at 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

Thomas Bjorn pictured at the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Golf is a funny, frustrating game, often marked by dashed expectations and humbling outcomes. But every once in a while it surprises you with a miracle round that comes seemingly out of nowhere. Just ask veteran pro Thomas Bjorn.

The 52-year-old former European Ryder Cup captain, who will play the role of vice captain in Rome, is playing the DP World Tour’s Horizon Irish Open this week. It’s his first competitive start after missing 10 weeks due to an injury.

Given that he has 15 DP World Tour wins in his career, some people may not have been surprised when he dropped a six-under 66 in the opening round Thursday at the K Club.

But Bjorn was not among them.

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It turns out that his own expectations for the day could not have been lower, as he explained in a hilarious post-round interview shared on Instagram by the DP World Tour.

The clip starts with the reporter asking Bjorn, “Were there any signs in practice and prep that you were going to start hot?”

“No,” a straight-faced Bjorn responded, earning laughs.

“I said to Chris this morning when we walked to the first tee, I said ‘Let’s try and see if we can break 90.'” Bjorn continued, “And after nine holes I said ‘I’ve got to shoot 56 on the back nine to break 90, so we’ll be alright.’”

While his game looked nothing like a player struggling to break 90, Bjorn certainly sounded like a weekend warrior as he went on to explain the “silly” nature of the game of golf, as evidenced by his impressive opening round.

“It was that kind of day. I mean I came here, I’ve got no feelings for the game. And it just shows how silly this game can be,” Bjorn said. “You can work hard for weeks and think you’re great and then go out and shoot bad scores. And then sometimes it just comes to you.

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“Expectations sometimes get in the way of professional golfers. I had none and then you go out and enjoy yourself. You’re just happy to be on the golf course for the first time in so long. So yeah, it’s just one of those things.”

At the very least, we can all be comforted by the fact that even veteran pros are still mystified by the game, and they too can surprise themselves with unexpectedly good play.

Another, harder lesson can be learned from Bjorn’s second round. He said he planned to keep similarly low expectations for Round 2, hoping that would result in similar success. But through 15 holes on Friday, Bjorn was three over.

Kevin Cunningham

Kevin Cunningham

Golf.com Editor

As managing producer for GOLF.com, Cunningham edits, writes and publishes stories on GOLF.com, and manages the brand’s e-newsletters, which reach more than 1.4 million subscribers each month. A former two-time intern, he also helps keep GOLF.com humming outside the news-breaking stories and service content provided by our reporters and writers, and works with the tech team in the development of new products and innovative ways to deliver an engaging site to our audience.