Bjorn set to step down from top job; GOLF: From Mark Garrod in Vilamoura.THOMAS Bjorn is tonight expected to quit one of the most important jobs in European golf.
The 38-year-old Dane, seen as a contender for the Ryder Cup Ryder Cup
Biennial team golf event first held in 1927. It was originally played between teams of golfers from the U.S. and Britain; since 1979 players opposing the U.S. have been chosen from all of Europe. The trophy was donated by the British seed merchant Samuel Ryder. captaincy in the future, has been chairman of the Tour players committee for the past two years.
But a week after scathing criticism of Padraig Harrington for voicing opposition to a possible tightening up of membership rules, Bjorn admitted he was "90 per cent" certain to stand down.
"I've been thinking about this for a while," said Bjorn ahead of the start of today's Portugal Masters The Portugal Masters is a European Tour men's professional golf tournament which will be played for the first time on 18-21 October 2007. It will have a prize fund of €3 million, making it the richest golf tournament in the country, and comfortably in the top half of European .
"I've not officially resigned yet, but it will take some convincing for me to continue.
"It's absolutely not to do with Padraig. To be fair to myself and my golf I have too much to deal with.
"It took its toll on Mark James, it certainly did on Jamie Spence Jamie Spence (born 26 May, 1963 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent) is an English golfer. He turned professional in 1985 and has finished in the top 100 on the European Tour Order of Merit more than a dozen times, with a best placing of tenth in 1992. and it's taking a toll on me."
Bjorn, who had to take a lengthy break from the game this summer and even had a brain scan brain scan
A scintigram of the brain, used to identify cerebral blood flow and to detect intracranial masses, lesions, tumors, or infarcts. because of dizziness and extreme fatigue, also said he is likely to stay on the committee only if a new structure is put in place where it is not an active player who acts as chairman.
Ryder Cup captain and committee member Colin Montgomerie said: "Thomas is super, great. He's very passionate about the Tour and that's what we need."
Harrington, not on the committee, has been invited by executive director George O'Grady to tonight's meeting to air his views on the future of the Tour.
With a view to helping a number of events in Europe through the economic crisis, a debate had started on whether to ask players to make an increased commitment.
"I don't believe in protectionism - I wonder if there may be a case for the European Union," Harrington had said on hearing of the suggestion.
Bjorn reacted by last week saying: "I don't know where Padraig is coming from and he always uses the press.
"For him to threaten going to the European Union is out of order. It's his committee - he does not seem to understand that."