INTRODUCING Alexander Bjork
AGE: 27 NATIONALITY: SWEDISH TURNED PRO: 2009 BEST FINISH 2018: WON THE VOLVO CHINA OPEN RANKING: 112
How did it feel to get your first European Tour win at the Volvo China Open?
I was really proud of the way I played, it’s probably one of the best rounds of golf I ever played, the best round in the situation. It’s the final day and the pressure comes on and I still hit good shots on the way in. I was less nervous than I usually am before a big final round and I felt confident almost all the way. I guess it was meant to be.
You sold shares in yourself in 2012. What was the thinking behind that?
It was a way to get financial support at a stretch in my career when I was still on the Nordic League and the economy was quite tough. It gave me the chance to go to practice camps in Spain and America in the winter.
You made it onto the Challenge Tour in 2014 and made steady progress before getting a win and finishing 7th on the Order of Merit in 2016. What are your memories of that season?
I hadn’t competed in five or six months coming into the season and I started with two missed cuts. Then I got going and had a few tops 10s coming into the week I won in France. I played really good almost the entire season. The win put me into 3rd in the Order of Merit and I was safe for the European Tour card pretty early.
You’ve had six top-sevens in your first 18 months on the European Tour and a share of the 54-hole lead twice. What have you learnt from being in contention?
You learn every time. I feel like I’ve played quite well in the final rounds when I’ve been up there and finished within the top three every time so it’s been good rounds. The difference between that and winning is just some important putts that I didn’t make. But I feel like I’ve been playing good in those situations and I’m trying to take that with me to the next time.
The stats say approach play and short game are your strengths but there’s room for improvement off the tee and on the greens...
Yeah, that’s a good description. I’m working really hard on the driving and putting as I need to improve both. At the same time, I’m trying to be better at all the other areas as well.
What are your goals for this season and beyond?
I want to improve on finishing 43rd on the Race to Dubai last year and then get in the top 20 that qualifies for all of next year’s majors and WGCs. I’m trying to take it one step at a time and not think too far ahead. But I’d say that my game is ready for the majors. I think I’ve shown that already.