Thorbjorn Olesen fetched, carried and drove Thomas Bjorn everywhere at the last Ryder Cup, but he knew even being the skipper’s dogsbody wasn’t going to help him get in this team.
Bjorn took his fellow Dane under his wing when he came out on tour and has continued to mentor him as he’s developed into a Ryder Cup player, but Olesen had to make himself one.
He did so by being the last player to automatically qualify, getting there at his own homeland event in Silkeborg of all places.
“It was a tough couple of weeks,” said just the third man from Denmark to make Team Europe, following Bjorn and Soren Hansen. “Especially in Denmark, just a different kind of pressure I haven’t had before.
“I was trying just to think about winning the tournament and making a good result, but it was very difficult for me not to think about The Ryder Cup, and I had just too many thoughts in my head.
“But it was nice to know how I react in those situations and it was a good learning experience, and obviously at the end Thomas was there to congratulate me.”
Bjorn’s influence and friendship has been a major part of Olesen’s career, so making the European team was “definitely a big goal for me”.
“To achieve that, I’m really proud of myself of the way I handled things this summer and kept on going. It meant the world that I could qualify straight in, and it would have been a really tough decision for Thomas if it wasn’t, because there was so many great players being outside.
“I don’t know if I wouldn’t have qualified if I would have got the pick or not. It makes me feel better to have qualified, I think more confident. I made it easier all round.”
Being with Bjorn at the last Ryder Cup, however, was hard, hard work, he added.
“The toughest job I’ve ever had, for sure,” he said. “Driving Thomas’s buggy was difficult. He was very demanding, so I was running around.
“I can’t remember how many times I had to get the coffees and it was really, really difficult to get about the course in a European cart.
“But it was a great experience for me, seeing behind the scenes, seeing what the captains do, realising how tough of a job they actually have to pick the teams.
“And standing on the first tee, seeing all that, I think is a good experience, and I think it can only help me for this week.”