Thorbjorn Olesen happy he got to prove his worth to Europe captain Thomas Bjorn

Phil Casey 13:11 01/10/2018
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Thorbjorn Olesen admitted he was delighted to prove a point to Europe captain Thomas Bjorn with a vital singles victory in Europe’s Ryder Cup triumph in Paris.

After partnering Rory McIlroy to defeat in the opening session at Le Golf National, Olesen was left out of the afternoon foursomes by his good friend and fellow Dane Bjorn and did not play at all on Saturday as the home side surged into a 10-6 lead.

Nerves were jangling when early singles victories for Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson and Tony Finau reduced the gap to a single point, but Olesen’s 5&4 thrashing of three-time major winner Jordan Spieth steadied the ship and Bjorn’s side eventually ran out comfortable winners.

“I was a little bit frustrated that I didn’t get to play on Saturday, I felt like I wanted to prove something after Rory and I lost on Friday morning,” Olesen told Press Association Sport.

“I wanted to get back out there and prove that I was good enough and I could win a point for Europe. I’m proud of the way I went out there. I was fired up after Saturday.”

Bjorn himself was left out of the opening day’s play on his debut as a player at Valderrama in 1997 and Olesen added: “He said he was very, very proud of me and he knew Saturday was a tough day for me, it was long and to not be a part of it you feel a little bit outside.

“He just told me he’s done that before in his career and it was a very, very tough decision for him, but I respected 100 per cent what he did and the boys played really well on Saturday and Friday afternoon and it all went to plan.

“Sunday was for myself, and also for the team obviously, but especially for myself to go out and prove I could win a point for Europe was pretty special.”

Olesen’s point was a welcome bonus against former world number one Spieth, who had been one of the rare bright sparks for the United States in winning three of his four matches alongside Thomas.

“I was excited when I saw the draw,” Olesen added.

“Jordan is a nice guy but he’s a great competitor and a great player and he’s been really good in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cup so I was very excited to go out against a guy whose done so well in these competitions.

“It’s always nice when you get to battle with one of the great players and I was happy that I got to hole that birdie putt on the second hole to get the crowd going so they were on my side the whole time.

“It was important to make a fist-pump and get that going. It was an unbelievable experience.”

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