Thorbjorn Olesen’s final-round 67 wasn’t enough to earn him the title at the European Tour’s Nordea Masters on Sunday (congrats to Paul Waring, a playoff winner over Thomas Aiken). But Olesen’s fourth-place finish, with four sub-70 rounds, did push the 28-year-old from Denmark into position to grab an automatic qualifying spot for the Ryder Cup team.
Olesen is projected to move into the fourth and final spot on the World Points list that’s used to help fill out the European team that will play next month in Paris, moving past Ian Poulter and Paul Casey. He is also less than €40,000 back of Tommy Fleetwood for the final spot in the European points list.
European captain Thomas Bjorn, a fellow Dane, is close friends with Olesen and has indicated he would prefer that his countryman qualify automatically rather than require a captain’s pick and bring their friendship into the equation. Olesen is trying to oblige, having posted a win at the Italian Open in June, a runner -up at the BMW International and four top-12 finishes in his last five starts.
“I’ve been playing great for three or four months so that will probably add a bit more pressure [on Bjorn], but if I can keep grinding and working like I did this week and last week to get better the results will come,” Olesen said.
Team Europe’s automatic picks will be decided in two weeks after the European Tour’s Made in Denmark tournament, in which Olesen is scheduled to compete. “There’s always a lot of pressure when we play in Denmark and probably a little bit extra this time,” he said.
Poulter and Casey, meanwhile, will be playing in next week’s Northern Trust, the first of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoff events. Good performances will allow them both to also compete in the BMW Championship before European qualifying closes.