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August 4 2011

6:57 PM

Bjorn takes unusual route to Firestone

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

The last time we saw Thomas Bjorn was at the British Open, where he led after an opening-round 65. Unfortunately for Bjorn, he failed to break 71 the rest of the week and finished fourth.

Still, the result was a good one for the Dane, who took a somewhat odd route to Firestone Country Club.

“I'm a bit surprised,” Bjorn said after a bogey-free 66 Thursday. “I spent two weeks on a boat coming home from the Open and haven't really done a lot.

“I needed a little bit of a break after four tough weeks for me. It wasn't pretty in practice, but today I just got into a good zone, got off to a decent start, then confidence is building.”

Now, Bjorn didn’t exactly mean that it took him two weeks on a boat to get to the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, but his point was that he’s hoping to build on what was largely an out-of-nowhere performance at Royal St. George’s last month.

Hitting 79 percent of his fairways and 78 percent of his greens in regulation at Firestone on Thursday was certainly a step in the right direction. Bjorn also took 28 putts -- another good sign for a player who’s been plagued throughout his career by a balky putter.

Like everyone else who went out early, Bjorn was able to take advantage of the conditions.

”It's possible to shoot a number out there with as soft as the greens are,” he said.

As for not being able to capitalize on his opening round at the British Open, Bjorn says he still took a lot of confidence from the week, and it’s something he’s hoping will help him here this week.

“Getting in there and having a chance on Sunday, you've just got to hold your hands up,” Bjorn said. “Sometimes somebody plays better on that Sunday. I went out there and went after my shots and thought I played well.”

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