European Tour

In-form Olesen favourite to win in Gothenburg

2018-08-15 19:21
Thorbjorn Olesen
Thorbjorn Olesen (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Thorbjorn 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. 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," said Olesen.

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. 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," said Olesen.

"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 No 1 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 Kaymer 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.

"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," said Kaymer.

Also in the field this week are European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn and one of his five Vice Captains, home favourite Robert Karlsson.

Karlsson is among 34 Swedes in the field this week, including recent European Tour winners Alexander Bjork 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.

Read more on:    european tour  |  thorbjorn olesen  |  golf


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