x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Thomas Bjorn hopes to redeem himself in this year's British Open

The Dane returns to Royal St George's, where he blew a three-shot lead eight years ago.

Thomas Bjorn hopes his victory at the Qatar Masters can be a springboard to bigger things - and this year in particular there is nothing bigger to him than the British Open.

In July, golf's oldest major will return to Royal St George's in Kent, the course where Bjorn self-destructed eight years ago.

Three shots ahead with only four holes to play, Bjorn bogeyed the 15th, double-bogeyed the 16th after needing three attempts to get out of a bunker, and then dropped another shot on the 17th.

The former Ryder Cup player from Denmark has not come anywhere remotely near the British Open title since. He did not even qualify for the event in 2008 and 2009.

Now his goal is to be everywhere that matters for the rest of the season.

"It's a big win and hopefully it can push me on to bigger things," Bjorn said after his four-stroke success over Spain's Alvaro Quiros in Doha. "When I play like this I know I can play against the best."

He will play at this week's Dubai Desert Classic, the scene of perhaps his best ever win a decade ago.

On that occasion Bjorn played all four rounds with Tiger Woods and beat him by two shots. At the time Woods held three of the four majors and was about to complete the set with the US Masters.

Now Woods returns without a recent major championship and with Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer ahead of him in the world rankings.

Westwood missed the cut in Qatar, but Kaymer came only 28th when he needed a top-two finish to dethrone his Ryder Cup teammate. Both are also in this week's field.

Bjorn was the one celebrating, but David Howell and Sergio Garcia, two other former top 10 players, also breathed new life into their careers. Howell, who came into the week ranked only 352nd, was fifth and Garcia joint ninth, his best performance for almost a year.

* Press Association