A lot of irony was combined with the first round of Thomas Bjorn at this year’s Open.
The Dane earned his spot in the field Monday when Vijay Singh withdrew earlier this week, and Singh was the player Bjorn shared the runner-up spot with at Royal St. George’s in 2003.
Bjorn opened on Thursday with a five-under 65, and that was his first round in the 60s at the event since his third-round 69 at Royal St. George’s in 2003.
In 2003 Bjorn finished double bogey-bogey-par from the 16th hole and in, but on Thursday, Bjorn birdied the par-3 16th hole to get to five under par while making par and bogey on the final two holes.
This year’s Open is Bjorn’s 14th, with runner-up finishes in 2000 and 2003 among his four top-10 finishes. In all, he owns seven made cuts in 13 previous starts.
Prior to Thursday’s co-lead with Tom Lewis, Bjorn’s third-round lead at the 2003 British Open at Royal St. George’s represents the only other time the Dane has led a major.
How is the chance of Bjorn going all the way? Well, the odds are against him.
Since 1975, just five first-round leaders of the British Open have gone on to win: Tiger Woods (2005), John Daly (1995), Greg Norman (1993 at Royal St. George’s!!!), Seve Ballesteros (1988) and Tom Watson (1980).
However, Bjorn’s Cinderella Story is on and probably still alive at the end of the second round.