Thorbjorn Olesen inches toward potential auto Ryder Cup spot with strong Friday

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Thorbjorn Olesen inches toward potential auto Ryder Cup spot with strong Friday

Euro Tour

Thorbjorn Olesen inches toward potential auto Ryder Cup spot with strong Friday

Tommy Fleetwood can hear footsteps behind him. They belong to the feet of Thorbjorn Olesen, and they’re marching toward Fleetwood’s automatic Ryder Cup place.

Olesen surged into contention in the $1.7 million Nordea Masters with a second round 66, 4 under. He’s in joint ninth place, five shots behind Scott Jamieson of Scotland and England’s Paul Waring.

The 28-year-old Dane is currently sixth on the European Ryder Cup points table, with the top four of Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Fleetwood occupying the four automatic Ryder Cup places off that list. Olesen needs to finish second or better in Gothenburg to unseat Fleetwood.

Olesen will achieve that goal if he continues his form of round two. The tournament’s highest ranked player at World No. 41 and sixth on the European money list began his second round on the 10th tee and went to the turn in 29 strokes with five birdies, including four in a row from the 15th. A bogey at the first hole set him back, but he bounced back with a birdie at the third. A further dropped shot at the eighth spoiled what could have been a really good round.

“I would like to keep playing like I did today over the next few days,” Olesen said. “If I can keep swinging the club the way I did today and keep playing like that, I think I’ll have a chance on Sunday.”

“The first 11 or 12 holes were really tough. The wind was blowing like yesterday afternoon so it was quite tricky but I stroked the ball beautifully today. I was swinging the club really nice, middle of the fairways, attacking the pins.

“I feel like I could have been really low today.”

Olesen is chasing his second win of 2018 following the Italian Open.

Martin Kaymer got into contention with a second straight 67 to join Olesen on 6 under. The former World No. 1 is looking for his first win since the 2014 U.S. Open.

The German is a three-time Ryder Cup player but isn’t in the frame for selection this year. Even a win might not be enough to earn him one of Thomas Bjorn’s four wild card picks.

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