Olesen set for big Dubai pay day after Turkey win
Great Dane is victorious at the Turkish Airlines Open
Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen held his nerve to win the Turkish Airlines Open and in the process moved up to ninth in the European Tour Race to Dubai rankings.
Olesen took a seven-shot lead into the final round at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa resort in Antalya, but saw that reduced to a single shot at one stage thanks to a brilliant scoring burst from England’s David Horsey.
However, the 26-year-old responded with vital birdies on the 12th, 14th and 15th on his way to a closing 69 to finish 20 under par and claim the first prize of just over one million euros.
Horsey and China’s Li Haotong shared second place on 17 under after matching rounds of 65, with Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger two shots further back in fourth.
Going into the Turkish Airlines Open, Olesen had only made three cuts of his last 12 events – similar form to when he won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year. But after holding on for victory in Turkey, Olesen said: “It means a lot. The last couple of months have been pretty poor and I haven’t played well and all of a sudden you’re leading by a big margin and it was difficult when you haven’t been playing well for that long.” When asked about his huge overnight lead, Olesen said: “I actually slept alright the last couple of days. “It was a weird feeling – I knew the guys were able to shoot a low number so I had to make a few birdies. After nine holes guys were shooting really low numbers so all of a sudden there was a lot of pressure on. “I felt like I kept it pretty steady. Obviously the last four holes were tough mentally.”
No player has ever squandered a seven-shot lead after 54 holes on the European Tour, with Martin Kaymer the most recent to lose a six-shot advantage in last year’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
When Horsey three-putted the 16th after leaving himself with a severely-breaking birdie putt, Olesen could afford to drop a shot at the same hole on his way to a hard-fought fourth European Tour title.