Ole­sen aims to use Bjorn as in­spi­ra­tion to make Ry­der Cup team

Irish Independent - - Sport Golf - Phil Casey

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.”

Fo­cused: Ole­sen

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