Thorbjorn Olesen has European Ryder Cup roster spot in sights at Nordea Masters

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Thorbjorn Olesen has European Ryder Cup roster spot in sights at Nordea Masters

Euro Tour

Thorbjorn Olesen has European Ryder Cup roster spot in sights at Nordea Masters

Thorbjorn Olesen is still on course for an automatic spot on the European Ryder Cup team after the opening round of the $1.7 million Nordea Masters in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

Olesen, the highest-ranked player in the field at world No. 41 and sixth on the European money list, opened with a 2-under-par 68. He trails Clement Sordet by six shots after the Frenchman’s 8-under 62. Sordet is two clear of former Augusta State player Scott Jamieson and England’s Lee Slattery.

Out in 1-over 37, Olesen bounced back with four birdies on the back nine and just one bogey. Although his score looks average compared to Sordet’s, he’s more than capable of getting into contention over the next 54 holes. 

Olesen is currently sixth on the European points table, with the top four automatically gaining spots on Thomas Bjorn’s team to face the United States in Paris September 28-30. Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood currently occupy those places. The Dane can take Fleetwood’s spot by finishing second or better this week. 

The 28-year-old began the tournament as the clear favorite to earn his sixth European Tour victory. Olesen has five top 15 finishes in his last eight events, including a victory in the Italian Open. He was also second in the BMW International Open, sixth in the Irish Open, 12th in the Open Championship and third in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. 

Olesen is hoping results help his chance of a September visit to Paris more than focussing on amassing Ryder Cup points. 

“I’m trying not to think about it (the Ryder Cup) at all,’” he said. “That’s obviously difficult but I’m really trying to put my head down and concentrate on my game.

“It’s been pretty easy because the tournaments have been so big, with the majors and Rolex Series events. 

“In that way, it’s been a bit easier to keep the Ryder Cup away but it is difficult. I would love to be in Paris, to play for Europe. I can only go out every day and try to play good golf.” 

He’s made a decent start in Sweden. He just needs to build on his opening score over the next three rounds.

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