Former European No 1 Karlsson proud to reach 500 up

Sun May 25, 2014 10:49am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

VIRGINIA WATER England (Reuters) - Former European number one Robert Karlsson failed to mark his 500th Tour appearance with a standout display this week but the Swede could still look back with pride at a career packed with success.

The North Carolina-based professional readily admits he is toiling with his game at the moment and takes encouragement from the form being shown by contemporaries like Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, 50, and Dane Thomas Bjorn, 43.

"I've seen a lot of things traveling around the world in my career, seen a lot of ups and downs," Karlsson told Reuters in an interview after a poor closing 78 left him way down the field on six-over 294 in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"But if someone had told me after my first five events that I'd play in 500 of these things and win 11 times, play in the Ryder Cup a couple of times and also win the World Cup alongside Henrik Stenson I'd have been very happy.

"I haven't done well enough to play in the Ryder Cup the last couple of times and the most important thing for me is to start playing well again," said the 44-year-old Karlsson.

"Look at Bjorn and Jimenez. They are still doing well."

Former world number six Karlsson finished top of the European money-list in 2008 and decided to uproot his family three years later to live in the United States.

His wife and two young children have settled well on the other side of the Atlantic but his golf has unraveled to such an extent that he has lost his U.S. PGA Tour playing privileges.   Continued...

Robert Karlsson of Sweden lines up a putt on the fourth hole during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship PGA golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina May 5, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Keane