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Storm Clouds Swirl Around Björn

ANTALYA, TURKEY | This is an advertisement you are unlikely to see: Wanted, man with the patience of Job and the tact of a Foreign Office diplomat for unpaid, year-round job. The hide of a rhinoceros would be an added benefit, too. Applications to the European Tour, Wentworth, Surrey, GU25 4LX. The job in question is chairman of the Tournament Committee and Thomas Björn, the incumbent, is arguably the most influential player in Europe and the man in the eye of the current storm of issues that surround the European Tour. These include players’ dissatisfaction with the Final Series, the investigation into alleged playing misdemeanours by Simon Dyson, the appointment of a chairman to succeed Neil Coles, the apparent muscling in on European Tour territory by the PGA Tour and the method of selection for the next Ryder Cup captain. Björn knows that as players get tired toward the end of a year, anxious about their world ranking, disappointed in their major championship performances and concerned about their positions on the Race to Dubai, they tend to grumble more, but even so he thinks that 2013 has been exceptional. It’s the job from hell, you would think, one in which you get little praise in the good times, massive criticism in the bad. “Guy (Kinnings, of IMG) had it right,” Björn said last week. “He told me: The one thing with you, Thomas, is if you don’t know something you’ll be trying to find out about it so it might actually be better if you do know so then you don’t waste your time trying to find out.”


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