Sports News in Brief: Olesen qualifies for Ryder Cup

In other news, Denmark’s men teetering on UEFA ban, Danish women’s football team sill in with an automatic World Cup qualification chance and Woz knocked out of US open

Thorbjørn Olesen has automatically qualified to play in this month’s Ryder Cup – a debut appearance for the 28-year-old, who will become the first Dane since Thomas Bjørn in 2014 to compete.

Five top-ten finishes including one victory in his last ten tournaments had seen him climb up the rankings, and he qualified as the eighth best player on the World Points rankings after finishing fifth in the European Points (the top four from each made it).

Heading into the final qualifying event, Made in Denmark in Silkeborg, English golfer Matt Fitzpatrick needed to win the tournament to overtake him in the standings.

English winner of Made in Denmark
Olesen joins Francesco Molinari, Justin Rose, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm and Alex Noren, with four more places yet to be decided.

Team captain, Denmark’s Thomas Bjørn, will pick four more players ahead of the biennial cup starting at Le Golf National in Paris on September 28.

Made in Denmark, the country’s biggest golf tournament, was won by England’s Matt Wallace after a four-way playoff. Olesen finished 20th.

Olesen becomes the third Dane to compete in the Ryder Cup. Along with Bjørn, who has made three appearances, Søren Hansen qualified in 2008.

Denmark could be banned by UEFA for years
The DBU football association has warned that another Danish player strike could seriously jeopardise Denmark’s qualification for future European tournaments. A women’s strike in October 2017, which saw the team forfeit their game against Sweden, has left Denmark on the precipice, and now representatives of the men’s national team are locked in a dispute with the DBU over their commercial rights. It would appear that none of the players picked by coach Åge Hareide will face Slovakia or Wales this week, and that instead Denmark will field teams made up of second and third tier players.

Rosenborg good enough for one player, but not The Lord
The Danish national football team travel to Slovakia on Wednesday and then host Wales at Aarhus Stadium on Sunday as part of the inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament. Åge Hareide last week decided to leave out Nicklas Bendtner from his 23-man squad, finding room for his team-mate Mike Jensen and Anders Christiansen (Malmö FF). And then, despite Jensen’s inclusion, he suggested to media that Bendtner needed to do a little bit more than proving himself in the Norwegian league.

Danish women eye automatic qualification
The Danish women’s side need to beat Sweden tomorrow to automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup, after a surprising 1-1 draw at home against bottom-of-the-table Romania saw them slip two points below the Swedes. Should they fail to win, they look likely to enter the playoffs as one of the four best second-placed teams. With one round to go, they head the second-placed team rankings.

Woz misses out on big opportunity at US Open
Caroline Wozniacki will be disappointed to have bowed out of the US Open in the second round – particularly as most of the other fancied players in her quarter of the draw have been knocked out. After going ahead 3-1 against  Ukrainian player Lesia Tsurenko, she went on to lose 11 of the next 14 games to finish up 4-6, 2-6. Wozniacki had injured her knee earlier in August in the Cincinnati Open, but did not blame her condition, instead preferring to praise the tactics of her opponent, who has since advanced to the last 16. Meanwhile, Clara Tauson is scheduled to start her bid to win the girls’ tournament today. She is the number six seed.

No transfer for injured Bendtner
Nicklas Bendtner remains at Norwegian club Rosenborg despite its chair, Ivar Koteng, telling Norwegian TV2 that he was up for sale ahead of the closure of the European transfer window on Friday. FC Zurich were believed to be interested. However, Koteng was firm that Rosenborg wanted to keep a player who has been a success since moving there last year. Rosenborg comfortably saw off Macedonian outfit Shkëndija 2-0 at home on Thursday to qualify for the group stage of the Europa League with a 5-1 aggregate win. Bendtner, though, picked up a thigh injury.