Thorbjorn Olesen moves even closer to Ryder Cup spot at Nordea Masters

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Thorbjorn Olesen moves even closer to Ryder Cup spot at Nordea Masters

Euro Tour

Thorbjorn Olesen moves even closer to Ryder Cup spot at Nordea Masters

Thorbjorn Olesen is poised to move into an automatic spot on the European Ryder Cup team with one round remaining of the $1.7 million Nordea Masters in Gothenburg.

The 28-year-old Dane is three shots off the lead held by South African Thomas Aiken and Paul Waring of England after posting a 3-under 67 to reach 9 under. He’s in joint third place with Scotland’s Marc Warren, just one spot from a place on compatriot Thomas Bjorn’s team to face the United States at Le Golf National, Paris, Sept. 28-30.

The five-time European Tour winner needs to finish second or better in Sweden to replace Tommy Fleetwood in the fourth and final spot on the European Ryder Cup points list. The top four off that list after the Made in Denmark event Sept. 2 automatically make Bjorn’s team, along with the top four players off the world points list. Bjorn will then choose four wild card picks.

Olesen’s hopes of making inroads on the lead didn’t look good when he began his round with a bogey five on the opening hole. He made amends with consecutive birdies at the fourth and fifth holes before handing those shots back with a double bogey at the par-4 7th hole when he found water. Fortunately, he played the back nine in 3 under to give himself a realistic chance going into the final round.

“I was quite frustrated on the front nine,” Olesen said. “We got on that first hole, the rain started and it was pumping and made a bogey there and just got off to a slightly bad start. But I felt like I played nicely on the back nine. I felt like it could have been a couple better, but 3 under is a good score when it blows like this.

“I was feeling patient. I know that anything can happen on this golf course. I know I have to stick my head down and keep pushing, keep trying.

“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I would like to be a couple of shots closer. We’re going to have a chance if I play well, but I have to shoot a really good number.”

Aiken would have the solo lead if not for three consecutive bogeys from the 15th hole.

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