Olesen on his career mulligan, superstitions, and his favourite shot of all time

The Scoop

The Dane has enjoyed a spectacular 2018, playing his way onto Thomas Bjorn's side and then taking down Jordan Spieth. Chris Bertram caught up with him

Thorbjorn Olesen enjoyed one of the strangest and simultaneously impressive Ryder Cup debuts at Le Golf National. Alongside a birdie-free Rory McIlroy the pair lost to Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler before being being benched until the Sunday singles.

He then came up against Jordan Spieth, fresh from three wins over the first two days, where he piled four birdies into the American over the front nine. The pair shook hands after another birdie at the 14th.

His run to get in the side was incredible and he backed it up on the biggest week of his life. We caught up with the Dane…

Thorbjorn Olesen

How old were you when you first shot under par?

Good question – 12 or 13 I think.

What is the highlight of your career away from the Ryder Cup?

The five victories have all been highlights. They’ve all meant different things. The first one which was in Sicily everyone is going to remember, then in Australia with my friend on the bag whose dad had just died was very special.

Winning at St Andrews, the Home of Golf, was special obviously and it came at a point where I had been struggling. Turkey was great and then, as a pair with Soren Kjeldesen, as a pairing for your country. I can’t pick one.

What’s the best shot of your career?

A flop shot at the Sicilian Open. There was a par 5 on the back nine where I hit a poor shot over the green and had a really difficult shot and hit it to three feet. I think it won me the tournament.

What’s your favourite individual hole?

So many, and lots at Augusta. Maybe the 12th.

If you could have one mulligan?

At the French Open I missed a five-footer on the last green to get in a play-off. I thought I hit a great putt but there was a spike mark on the line I wanted to hit it on. But I would definitely like to hit it again.

What is your favourite course in Britain?

The Old Course is just special.

Thorbjorn Olesen

What is your favourite course elsewhere in the world?

Augusta, then Royal Melbourne, then Kingston Heath.

What’s the best view in golf?

There are some pretty cool views at Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria where I played the Matchplay.

What is your favourite sports team?

Manchester United.

Who is a non-golf sportsman you most admire?

Roger Federer and Michael Phelps.

And sportswoman?

Serena Williams.

What do you do in your spare time?

Skiing, and I play most sports – I used to play football a lot but not really any more. I like to go to the gym. And watch TV shows.

What is your favourite film?

The Godfather Part II.

And television show?

That’s hard, I watch a lot of TV… I’ll say Entourage.

What is your favourite musician or band?

Michael Jackson.

Where do you like to holiday?

Skiing in general, and Chamonix in particular.

Who is your best friend on tour?

Thomas Bjorn!

Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen

Who would be in your dream fourball of tour players, past or present?

Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros and Arnold Palmer.

And non-golfers?

Federer, Michael Jordan and Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s why it has been such a privilege to be in Nike like they are, and Tiger is, who was my idol. I love sports.

Do you have any superstitions?

I always use a Danish 10 krone to mark the ball.

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