16 Aug 2018

In-form Olesen plays it cool in Gothenburg

Thorbjørn Olesen has arrived in Gothenburg as the in-form player, but the Dane is reluctant to admit he is the favourite for the Nordea Masters title.

Olesen will tee it up at Hills Golf Club after five top 12s in his last eight events, including his maiden Rolex Series victory at the Italian Open and a tied third place finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Championship two weeks ago.

“There are a lot of good players in this field.” said the five-time European Tour winner. “Obviously I’ve had a lot of good weeks the last three months but there’s a guy here (Martin Kaymer) who has won a couple of Majors and I’m guessing ten or 15 tournaments. I would say he’s more favourite than I am but with the form I’ve had and how much I love playing in Sweden I would put myself among the favourites.”

The five-time European Tour winner is entering a crucial period in his season – with just three events remaining in which to gather Ryder Cup points, Olesen sits on the edge of the automatic qualifying positions on both the European and World Points Lists, and victory this week could go along way towards sealing his place in the European Team at Le Golf National in September.

“It’s obviously difficult not to think about The Ryder Cup,” added the Dane. “I’m trying not to think about it at all. The tournaments have been so big, with the Majors and Rolex Series events I want to do well in. Obviously I want to win a Major at some point in my career, it’s my biggest goal.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 and show that I’m good enough for the team.”

One player who could stand in Olesen’s way this week is two-time Major winner and former World Number One Martin Kaymer. The German is returning to the Nordea Masters for the first time in ten years, but has a fine record from his two previous appearances, finishing second behind Finland’s Mikko Ilonen as a rookie in 2007 and 14th the following year.

As he goes in search of a 12th European Tour title, the veteran of four Ryder Cup teams believes he’s not even half way through his career and can’t wait to tee it up in front of the welcoming Swedish fans.

“I’m on the seventh hole of my career, hopefully,” said the 33 year old. “You need some time to get to know and place yourself in the world of golf. In the beginning you can’t know, you have zero experience. Then you play around the world and measure your game with the best in the world. Then you see good results and in my case underestimate yourself a little.

“All of a sudden you win a Major, you play a vital role in Ryder Cups, you win your second Major. Then you need to adjust because it’s sometimes overwhelming and not understandable. That realisation took me a long time, that’s why I would say I’m on the seventh hole, maybe seventh green.”

Also in the field this week are European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn and one of his five Vice Captains, home favourite Robert Karlsson. The former European Number One is amongst 34 Swedes in the field this week, including recent European Tour winners Alexander Björk and Joakim Lagergren.

Two-time Ryder Cup player David Howell of England will mark a major milestone when he makes his 600th European Tour appearance, while Italy’s Renato Paratore is aiming to become the first player to win the Nordea Masters in consecutive years.

Share this article
Swing Sequence

Wyndham Clark Swing Sequence

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Professional, Pete Cowen Academy One of the...

Xander Schauffele swing sequence

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Professional, Pete Cowen Academy Xander Schauffele has...

Related articles

Upbeat McIlroy Ready for US Open After Marital Reconciliation

Rory McIlroy’s upbeat mindset ahead of this week’s US Open at...

U.S. Open Preview – Who will claim the year’s third Major?

The third Major of men’s schedule gets underway this month with...

Surviving Summer – How Courses Cope With The Heat

Words: Will Kent Photography: Provided by Stuart & Getty Images The...

Kiaan Keeps On Winning – UAE’s Latest Jnr Star

Photography & words by Will Kent Eight-year-old Kiaan Maharaj has become...

Gaudet rings the changes for women’s golf

Elisa Gaudet, Founder of Women’s Golf Day, talks exclusively to Rick...

Masters Green Jacket Thief Charged

A former warehouse assistant at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia...