With just a few weeks left in the European Tour's regular season, Thorbjorn Olesen came into the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship -- the Euro Tour equivalent of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -- on the verge of losing his playing privileges. Then he went out and did something a promising young player would: he won.
Olesen wrapped up a two-shot win on Sunday at the Old Course at St. Andrews, one of three courses in the tournament rotation and host to the final round of the pro-am event. His 18-under total beat Americans Brooks Koepka and Chris Stroud, earning €708,171 and jumping from 124th on the money list standings into the top 25.
“This is very special,” said Olesen, who has been dealing with tendon problems in his left hand for much of the season. “It’s been a very tough year and to stand here with this trophy, especially to win it at St. Andrews. It’s something you dream of when you’re a little kid. So I’m very emotional.”
The Dane, who now has three European Tour wins, had missed 10 of his last 13 European Tour cuts, but the win should propel him into the top 75 in the Official World Golf Ranking, better than the 80th position where he finished 2014.
Jim Furyk has pulled out of the 2015 Presidents Cup, citing a bonus contusion on his left wrist, the PGA Tour annouced Friday.
U.S. captain Jay Haas named J.B. Holmes as Furyk's replacement on the South Korea-bound team.
“There is nothing I take more pride in than representing the United States in The Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup, and I am deeply disappointed that I will have to withdraw from playing because my wrist, although improving, is still not where it needs to be at this point,” said Furyk in a release.
Furyk suffered the bone contusion around the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, when he started feeling pain during the tournament pro-am. A week off after the Boston-area event did not improve the injury, and Furyk withdrew after six holes of the BMW Championship, the first time Furyk had withdrawn from a PGA Tour event since the 1995 Buick Classic. Last week, Furyk withdrew from the Tour Championship with the intent of playing in the Presidents Cup for an eighth time. Instead, Furyk, who has a career Presidents Cup record of 20-10-3, will be a captain's assistant.
“Jim did everything he could to be ready, and I'm sad that he won't be able to play," said Haas. "He’s a totally selfless team player who will be missed. He’s had another great year, and I believe he was pointing toward this event to cap it off."
Holmes, who finished 12th in the points standings, will make his Presidents Cup debut.
“My heart goes out to Jim because I know how much the Presidents Cup means to him,” said Holmes. “Obviously, he has been a leader for our team for many years and he will be greatly missed. I am, however, very honored and excited to get the call from Captain Haas to make the trip to South Korea to help the U.S. team retain the cup."