Thorbjorn Olesen secures final automatic Ryder Cup spot
Dane will make competition bow after Matthew Fitzpatrick falls short in Denmark
Thorbjorn Olesen has secured the final automatic spot for September’s Ryder Cup. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty
Fitzpatrick needed to win the final event in Denmark to overhaul Olesen but was unable to do so despite back-to-back rounds of 66 over the weekend at Silkeborg Golf Club.
The 23-year-old briefly held the clubhouse lead on 16 under par but was overtaken minutes later when South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen finished 18 under in the group behind following a closing 65.
That meant Olesen will join Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm and Alex Noren in the European team which will try to regain the trophy at Le Golf National in Paris at the end of September.
European captain Thomas Bjorn will name his four wild cards on Wednesday.
A disappointed Fitzpatrick, who did not win any of his two matches at Hazeltine in 2016, said: “I played great again, didn’t quite drive it as well as yesterday but my irons were still pretty good — just really struggling to hole some putts at the minute.
“Winning out here is tough so it was always a big ask but I felt like I gave it a good go, did great this weekend and hopefully it’s just signs of things to come over the next few months.”
Asked about his chances of a wild card, Fitzpatrick added: “I would obviously love to be one of them but I am sure Thomas is doing his homework and looking at every aspect of everyone’s game and if I am picked that’s great and if I’m not it’s just one of them things.”
Olesen, who surged into Ryder Cup contention with a victory and four other top 10s in his last nine events before this week, said: “It’s been an incredible summer, a lot of pressure but I’ve been playing well and it’s been a lot of fun.
“I’ve watched the Ryder Cup since I was six or seven years old and it looks special. Two years ago I got a bit of the experience watching it all from Thomas’ buggy and I think that will help me a little bit.
“It’s going to be a great team and hopefully we can get the trophy back to Europe.”