Thomas Bjørn (born 18 February 1971) is Denmark's most successful professional golfer who plays on the European Tour.Bjørn played on the Challenge Tour from 1993 to 1995. He then made an immediate impact on the European Tour in his first season, finishing tenth on the 1996 Order of Merit. He has won nine tournaments on the European Tour and has finished in the top ten on the Order of Merit five times with a best finish of fifth in 2000. He has come close to winning a major championship at the 2003 Open Championship when he was in the lead with 4 holes to play before a slump handed victory to Ben Curtis and at the U.S. PGA Championship in 2005, when he tied for the lead before finishing as runner-up to Phil Mickelson in a second-place tie with Steve Elkington.Bjørn was a member of the winning European Ryder Cup teams in 1997 and 2002. He made the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings for one week in 2001 after a second place finish at The Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.Bjørn's last name is sometimes written Björn or Bjorn outside Denmark. The Danish (and Norwegian) letter 'ø' represents approximately the same sound as 'ö' in German and Swedish. Literally translated, his surname means bear in Danish.In 2007, Bjørn was elected chairman of the European Tour's tournament committee.