Sublime finish for Olesen in Akron
While Justin Thomas cruised to victory in the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational several European players impressed at Firestone Country Club – most notably Thorbjørn Olesen whose closing 64 saw him rise up the leaderboard and the projected Ryder Cup rankings.
Despite difficult conditions causing problems for many during the final day in Akron, Ohio, Olesen reeled off seven birdies to post a six under par 64 and reach tied third – his best finish in a World Golf Championship.
Following his fine finish in the United States the Dane moves up to ninth place in the projected rankings, one position behind the eight automatic qualifying spots for Thomas Bjørn’s European side.
Other notable performances in the third World Golf Championship of the season came from Rory McIlroy and Ian Poulter who, despite enduring tough last rounds, both recorded top-ten finishes in the lucrative event.
All attention will now turn to the US PGA Championship, with those on the bubble in a position to earn valuable points as time begins to run out in qualification.
As things stand, Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton and Fleetwood make up the four qualifiers on the European Points List. They are joined by McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Alex Noren and Paul Casey on the World Points List.
But a host of in-form players and experienced campaigners including Olesen, Poulter, Russell Knox, Eddie Pepperell, Sergio Garcia, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Henrik Stenson are all just one good week away from forcing their way into Bjørn’s side.
In addition to the eight automatic qualifiers, Bjørn has four wildcards to select to join his team at Le Golf National in September.