Thomas Bjorn can make Europe's Ryder Cup side, says Wayne Riley
Thomas Bjorn can make the 2014 Ryder Cup after his Omega Masters win, says Wayne Riley.
Last Updated: 09/09/13 12:21pm
That's according to Sky Sports pundit Wayne Riley after Denmark's Bjorn edged Scotland's Craig Lee in a play-off at Crans-sur-Sierre to win the Swiss event for the second time in three years.
The 42-year-old - who prevailed by four strokes from Martin Kaymer in 2011 - dropped just two shots over the course of his 72 holes, and Riley reckons the 2005 USPGA Championship runner-up's veteran instincts saw him triumph on Sunday.
However, the Australian thinks Bjorn has plenty to look forward to after sufficiently improving his world ranking and feels the Silkeborg-born player could earn himself a berth in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, a venue he won at in the Johnnie Walker Championship two seasons ago.
"Experience prevailed for Thomas, who might be in his forties but is a wonderful player and gets it done," said Riley. "And to drop just two shots all week is really incredible golf.
"He has won 14 tournaments on the European Tour and that is a great amount - you have had a good career if you win two or three - and he is now out of the doldrums, back in the world's top 50, and, I hear, with Billy Foster back on his bag for a while.
"Thomas is brilliant with a wedge and has this amazing talent to use the grooves on the ball and spin it; he has wonderful feel, gets on with things quickly and plays golf at the pace that golf should be played at.
"If his short game is on fire like that he could be around [at Gleneagles] and he will be a great guy to have in the locker room because he is such an inspirational player having played in Ryder Cups before."
Riley also offered words of encouragement to the vanquished Lee, who - after shooting a 10-under-par score of 61 on Saturday to open up a two-stroke lead over Bjorn, Spain's Alejandro Canizares and France's Victor Dubuisson - failed to prise his maiden European Tour title.
"It was sad for Craig," added Riley, who claimed two European Tour crowns during his playing days, the 1995 Scottish Open and 1996 Portuguese Open. "He didn't do anything wrong but he didn't get out there and make enough birdies.
"This will only help Lee build his confidence, though, because he now knows he is in some of the bigger tournaments - but I want to know where he has been all these years?
"He played this week like a seasoned campaigner and I really enjoyed watching him play, especially his putting, as he has a good posture and makes his ball really hug the ground.
"And at the age of 36, he has another 10 years of top-notch golf in him if he keeps himself in shape."