The ball had just trickled in at the 18th hole. Thorbjørn Olesen raised his hand, tipped his hat to the crowd, hugged his caddie and took it all in with pleasure. On Sunday, at the tender age of 22, he had just become the youngest ever Dane to win a tournament on the European tour.
Despite starting the final day with a three-stroke lead, Olesen appeared to be wavering after bogeying the first hole, and within a few holes he had been joined at the top of the leaderboard by Englishman Chris Wood, who was on his way to a blistering 64. But Olesen steadied himself and finished strongly, parring the final four holes to claim a hard-fought one-stroke victory.
In addition to the trophy, Olesen’s victory netted him the tidy sum of 1.24 million kroner.
Overall it was a good day for Danish golf as Søren Kjeldsen managed an impressive third place in the final standings in Sicily.
“I’m still in shock. After a bogey on the first hole, I had a long battle on my hands,” Olesen told Sporten.dk. “This victory means the world to me. My goal is to go all the way in this sport. It will be a challenge because there are so many excellent players, but this win is certainly a good start.”
The historic win has catapulted Olesen up the world rankings into the top 100, to exactly number 100 in fact, where he joins Thomas Bjørn (32) and Anders Hansen (40).
These two rankings are especially important to the Danes as the top 50 golfers are invited to the upcoming US Masters, which begins on Thursday – an event that many of Europe’s top players have been in the States preparing for, thereby weakening the field at the Sicilian Open.