Olesen - I feel confident
Thorbjørn Olesen believes the pressure of qualifying for the Ryder Cup Team in front of a passionate home crowd in Denmark will hold him in good stead this week at Le Golf National.
He entered the Made in Denmark with his fate in his own hands but knowing that both Matthew Fitzpatrick and Eddie Pepperell would be able to take the final automatic place in the European Team off him should things go their way.
The Dane successfully secured his berth at Silkeborg Ry Golf Club and while the crowds will be ramped up massively this week, Olesen believes feeling that different type of pressure has aided his preparation.
“I would say, especially in Denmark, just a different kind of pressure I haven't tried before,” he said. “I was trying just to think about winning the tournament and making a good result but with the media and stuff, it was very difficult for me not to think about the Ryder Cup.
“I found myself in that first round - just too many thoughts in my head - and it was very difficult to play but then it got slowly better and better.
“I think it was nice to know how I react in those situations. I think it was a good learning experience and come Sunday afternoon, seeing that I actually qualified, was firstly relief and then just very exciting.”
With his excellent form in the summer including a maiden Rolex Series win at the Italian Open, Olesen would likely have been in the mix for a Captain's Pick from countryman Thomas Bjørn but he was happy not to need one.
“It would have been a really tough decision for Thomas because there was so many great players being outside,” said Olesen, who was Bjørn's buggy driver when he was a Vice Captain at Hazeltine in 2016.
“I wouldn't know if I wouldn't have qualified if I would have got the pick or not. I think it makes me feel better also, being here as a rookie, making the Team. I think I feel more confident.
“Ever since I got on the European Tour, Thomas sort of took me under his wing and was a little bit of a mentor for me. Then we got really close friends ever since.
“We've done a lot of different stuff together, spent a lot of time off the golf course, not about golf but just being really good friends.
“So two years ago when he got announced Captain and also being in Paris and stuff, it was definitely a big goal for me to try to achieve this and be a part of this Team.
“That's why I'm really proud of myself, of the way I handled things this summer and kept on going.”