Olesen aims to use Bjorn as inspiration to make Ryder Cup team
THORBJORN OLESEN is keen to spare good friend Thomas Bjorn a difficult decision by qualifying by right for next month’s Ryder Cup.
Olesen’s share of third place in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last week continued a superb run of form and lifted the 28-year-old to the verge of an automatic qualifying place for September’s biennial contest against the United States.
But, although he and Bjorn are good friends, Europe’s captain is keen to ensure that will not be seen as influencing his decision when he selects his four wild cards at the start of next month.
“After today I feel good,” Olesen said after a final round of 68 in the US PGA Championship. “Yesterday I felt terrible, I just didn’t have the energy and my mental strength was really bad, but today was good again and I felt like I played some good golf.
“I have had the Ryder Cup question a lot over the last two or three weeks. I try not to think about it, but it is difficult. Obviously I would love to be in Paris and to play the Ryder Cup, but I have tried to keep the main focus on my game.
“I am trying to improve every week and hopefully I can go and win one of the next two events.”
Olesen recently added next week’s Nordea Masters to his schedule and will also contest the final qualifying event in his native Denmark, which is being staged on Bjorn’s home course in Silkeborg.
“Over the last three months or so we haven’t really spoken about it,” added Olesen, who won his fifth European Tour title in the Italian Open in June. “Obviously we are very good friends, but we have to try and keep that aside and not to think about the Ryder Cup. That’s what I have tried to do.
“I have been trying to get into the top eight. If not, we will see what happens, but my goal is to play myself in. We are very, very good friends and I don’t want it to come down to a friendly decision.
“We will see. I feel like I have done a lot over the last couple of months, but I need to do a bit more over the next few weeks.
“I think no matter what happens Thomas is going to have very difficult decisions to make, not just with me because there are a lot of really good players outside the team right now. It is going to be very tough for him.
“It has been a dream to play a Ryder Cup at some point. It would make it that much more special to play this one especially with Thomas as the captain.”