Cape Town - Thorbjorn Olesen will defend the Rolex Series title which
launched his incredible 2018 season when he tees it up for the Italian Open in
Rome, from October 10-13.
The Dane joins his Ryder Cup team-mate and Open champion
Francesco Molinari at Olgiata Golf Club - a new venue for the fifth Rolex
Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai - as he looks to add a sixth European
Tour title to his name.
Olesen memorably won the 2018 Italian Open by one shot
after a thrilling final round battle with home favourite Molinari and
Englishman Lee Slattery. Needing a par at the last after Molinari sent the
crowd wild with a birdie from 30 feet, the 29-year-old made an excellent up and
down from a greenside bunker to claim the biggest win of his career to date.
The victory at Gardagolf catapulted Olesen into contention
for a place in Europe's 2018 Ryder Cup team and the Dane delivered, sealing his
spot at the Made in Demark - his home tournament and the final week of
qualification for Team Europe - before going on to make his Ryder Cup debut at
Le Golf National and winning his singles match in impressive fashion by beating
Jordan Spieth 5&4.
"It's the biggest event I have won in my career so far,"
said Olesen. "It was huge and it came at such an important point in my season
to really kickstart the year."
"Before that week in Italy, I was way off being in the
Ryder Cup team and then all of a sudden, I win a Rolex Series event and I'm
right in it. It was a great confidence booster for me and from then on, I
played really well until the Ryder Cup.
"It was a really special moment at the end. I've never had
that putt on 18 where I've had to make it to win, so to experience that and
from then on to know you can hole a ten or 12 footer on the last to win a big
event, it gives you that extra edge.
"Winning the Italian Open was a game changer for me. It
gave me so much confidence going into the Ryder Cup knowing that I could hole
those putts, under pressure and on the biggest stage, so a lot of great things
happened for me that week. Hopefully we can repeat all of that again later on
this year in Rome."
Race to Dubai Champion and world No 6 Molinari will
also be part of the world class field at Olgiata Golf Club in October, with
further names to be added over the coming weeks.