Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen put a three-year nightmare behind him as he ended a second straight day of eagle-birdie to secure a dramatic one-shot win in the Betfred British Masters at The Belfry.
Just five months ago, the former Ryder Cup star (32) was acquitted by a jury in less than an hour after a three-day trial on charges of sexual assault and drunkenness on a plane in July 2019.
Olesen claimed prescription sleeping pills his partner bought on a “shady website” turned him into a “vending machine” and the jury exonerated him completely.
But the Dane lost a string of sponsorships and fell from the world top 50 to outside the top 500 as he sat on the sidelines of golf for 12 months following the incident.
He had gone six months without a top-10 finish before overnight rounds of 66, 70 and 69 gave him a three-stroke lead en route to the final round.
But his lead quickly evaporated as he turned a two-over and then bogeyed the 14th and 15th to put clubhouse leader Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden behind by two shots.
“Everything went to the left,” admitted Olesen. “It was difficult to play when you have that, but I kept fighting. I saw that I still had a chance to get to 17 and I thought if I can birdie, birdie maybe I can get into a playoff. “
Instead, he upped the ante and after making a 28-foot for an Eagle Three to share the lead on the 17th, he made a 35-foot for a birdie for a 73 on the 18th, his sixth DP World Tour -Win and his first since 2018.
“I was really struggling,” said an emotional Olesen, who climbs to the top of the European qualifying series for this year’s US Open. “I kind of just moved on and yes, what an ending. Incredible.”
He joins an illustrious list of previous winners that includes Major champions Tony Jacklin, Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman, Ian Woosnam, Lee Trevino, Seve Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo and Justin Rose.
“There are many emotions,” he said.
“It’s been a long time since I won and I knew how difficult it was going to be.
“It’s obviously a huge tournament. It always has been; so many great champions here.
“It’s a privilege to have your name there.”
In Spain, Olivia Mehaffey got her best result of her career on the Ladies European Tour when she finished with a 5 under 67 at Jarama-RACE Golf Club and finished ninth at the Comunidad de Madrid Ladies Open.
She finished 12 under par, 11 behind Spain’s Ana Pelaez, whose 66 gave her a six-stroke win over Sweden’s Linnea Strom.
At Baltray, Knock’s Katie Poots was delighted with second place and the title at the Flogas Irish Girls’ Amateur Open as Scotland’s Lorna McClymont drove 9 shots to a four-shot win at the Irish Women’s Amateur Open in County Louth.
Poots, the youngest Fairhaven Trophy winner, went into the final round two strokes behind McClymont but was able to beat ninth place to score a two, and tied for the lead.
But McClymont, who started her round with a double bogey, played the back nine in four-under 32 after winning a birdie four on the 11th with three straight birdies.
Poots had to settle for a two-under 72 after finishing with nine straight pars.
But she was delighted to win the Irish Girls’ Amateur Open title through a shot from Irish teammate Marina Joyce Moreno, who finished third overall after a bogey-free 72.
“I played pretty solid there today, just the putts didn’t let up, but for sure I’m lucky enough and really happy to finish second,” said Poots.
“Lorna played great and her putting at the end was great. I’m happy for her.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/dane-thorbjorn-olesen-puts-trial-nightmare-behind-him-with-dream-finish-at-british-masters-41628966.html Dane Thorbjorn Olesen leaves the trials nightmare behind with a dream finish at the British Masters