Swedish pro golfer sells shares in himself

The Local catches up with 22-year-old Swedish golf pro Alexander Björk, Sweden’s first sportsman – and the world’s first golfer – to be listed on a stock exchange.

Swedish pro golfer sells shares in himself

Björk, ranked three among Sweden’s golfers under 23, turned pro straight after graduating from golfing high school in Växjö, south central Sweden. During his career he has so far won eight gold medals, seven silvers and as many bronzes in a total of 153 competitions.

Interested investors can now buy shares in Björk through a Swedish sport investment site called Trade in Sport, in a venture that the company hopes will make it easier for athletes to make a living from their sport.

The Local: So, how does it feel to be Sweden’s first sportsman – and the world’s first golfer – to be listed on a stock exchange?

Alexander Björk: It feels good although I don’t think about it too much, I just try to train as hard as I can. It is very helpful for me when it comes to training and competitions.

TL: Who came up with the idea and how does it work?

AB: Well, I was approached by a guy called Claes Homström, who heads a company called Trade in Sports, and it was his idea from the beginning. How it works is that people go in on their webpage where they can purchase shares in me. The money will go to my training and competition expenses and investors then later get a share in any future prize money I receive.

TL: In what way does this help you?

AB: I get money for training camps abroad and competition expenses so that I can put all my efforts into the sport. These things cost a lot of money so it is very helpful to get a contribution.

TL: And what do you get as an investor?

AB: If all goes the way we hope, shareholders will actually make money from their investment as they will get a cut from any potential prize money I earn. They will also receive information on the website and through my blog and Twitter of how I am doing and what is happening in my golf career.

TL: And why should people invest in you?

AB: I work very hard to achieve my goals and should hopefully soon be out on the European tour.

In his last competition, the Landskrona Masters, Björk, who plays for Växjö Golf Club, finished fourth and took home 18,000 kronor ($2,736).

Next week he will be competing in Denmark and after that awaits the European Tour qualifier in Stoke, UK.

So far Björk hasn’t hit the links competitively in the United States, but said recently in an interview with daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) that he is hoping that he will get a chance to take part in a few competitions while training there over the winter.

Rebecca Martin

Follow Rebecca on Twitter here.

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Sweden’s Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters

Sweden's Alex Noren came back from a seven-shot overnight deficit to claim a dramatic French Open victory at Le Golf National on Sunday, as the difficult closing stretch of the Ryder Cup course saw a host of challengers slip up.

Sweden's Noren storms to French Open title as fellow Swede Kinhult falters
Swedish golfer Alex Noren holds the trophy after winning the HNA Open de France, as part of the European Tour 2018, on Sunday. Photo: LUCAS BARIOULET / AFP
Fellow Swede Marcus Kinhult had entered Sunday's play with a two-shot lead but struggled through a five-over final round to end in a three-way tie for fifth.
World number 16 Noren fired a brilliant four-under 67 to reach seven-under par for the tournament, before sitting back and watching his rivals falter as he won by a single stroke.
The 35-year-old will be a key figure for Europe when the Ryder Cup gets underway on September 28, and he showed all his qualities by playing the last three holes in two-under.
The big-name pairing of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm both threatened, but the two Spaniards found water at the 18th, while world number two Justin Thomas never seriously contended.
Julian Suri, who was looking to become the first American winner of the event since Barry Jaeckel in 1972, went to the 72nd hole on eight-under but made a watery double-bogey, while England's Chris Wood also blew a late lead.
That handed Noren, who finished his fourth round 45 minutes before the final group, a 10th European Tour title and first since the BMW PGA Championship in May 2017, when he also fought back from seven shots behind on the final day.
Scotland's Russell Knox carded a final-round 65 earlier in the day to finish tied for second with Suri and Wood on six-under — enough to secure him a spot for the British Open at Carnoustie along with Kinhult and Suri.