Olesen claims final automatic European Ryder Cup spot
AARHUS, Denmark (AP) — Thorbjorn Olesen claimed the final automatic qualification spot on the European Ryder Cup team after Matthew Fitzpatrick failed to win the Made in Denmark event on Sunday.
Fitzpatrick needed to overturn a six-shot deficit to leader Lee Westwood going into the final round but it was another Englishman, Matt Wallace, who claimed victory.
Wallace came through a four-man playoff against Westwood, Steven Brown and Jonathan Thomson to win at European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn’s home course.
Having claimed a third victory in his last 15 tournaments, Wallace could now be a contender, alongside Fitzpatrick, for one of Bjorn’s four wildcard picks, which the Dane will reveal on Wednesday.
Despite finishing eight shots off the lead at his home tournament, Olesen can now watch Bjorn’s announcement over the Sept. 28-30 matchup with the United States at Le Golf National in Paris with his place assured.
“Relief is my first emotion, that’s for sure,” Olesen said. “It’s been a tough week, a long week.”
Fitzpatrick came up short but will hope his 6-under 66 to end the tournament 16 under will have impressed Bjorn.
Another Englishman, Eddie Pepperell, also could have snatched the final qualification spot from Olesen if he had won the tournament but wasn’t in contention going into the final round, eventually finishing 14 shots off the pace.
Olesen joins Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Alex Noren on the European team.
“I want to congratulate the eight players who have automatically qualified for The 2018 Ryder Cup team,” Bjorn said. “They have all played some incredible golf to make it, and every single one of them is a world class golfer who will represent Europe with pride and commitment.”
U.S. captain Jim Furyk announces the first three of his four wildcard picks on Tuesday.