By PGATOUR.COM staff
Kevin Streelman got as low as 7 under in the opening round of the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf but bogeyed Nos. 16 and 18 to drop into a tie for the lead with Thomas Bjorn.
Bjorn took the clubhouse lead early when he birdied two of his last three holes for a 5-under 66. Despite threats from a number of competitors, no one was able to better the number and just one could match it.
Stuart Manley, K.J. Choi and Martin Laird are one shot off the pace while Jason Day is alone in sixth, two back.
Day's fellow countryman, Adam Scott, who won on this course a week ago, took a nine on the 12th hole and finished the round with a 75.
In the team competition, Streelman and Kuchar have the U.S. team tied for the lead at 5 under with the Danish duo of Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen. The team from Portugal is three back.
Just six tandems finished the day in red numbers as Royal Melbourne's quick greens made for pretty tough scoring conditions in Round 1. Checking in at 1 under are Canada, Scotland and South Korea.
By Brian Allee-Walsh, Special to PGATOUR.COM
AVONDALE, La. -- Danish-born Thorbjorn Olesen is getting Americanized on and off the PGA TOUR.
The 23-year-old native of Fureso, Denmark, pronounced himself physically fit and ready to play in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana after recovering from injuries sustained in a recent car accident.
Olesen, who accepted special temporary membership on TOUR late last week, was forced to withdraw from the Shell Houston Open in late March citing whiplash-like symptoms after shooting an opening-round 10-over 82 at the Redstone Gold Club.
Asked if he had been warned about American drivers, Olesen laughingly replied: "No, I was warned after the accident. I could have used that (information). But no, I think I was just really unlucky."
Olesen was coming off a seventh-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when the accident occurred in Houston the night before the start of the Shell Houston Open. He tried but failed to avoid a wreck that happened in front of him.
After taking a week off to recover from back and neck injuries, he played in his first Masters where he finished in a tie for sixth with consecutive 68s on the weekend. After another week of R&R, he's back on TOUR in New Orleans, hoping to pick up where he left off.
"I got a lot of treatment, so I've stopped taking my medication," he said. "It's definitely going in the right direction. I feel very comfortable with my swing now."
No one should be surprised by Olesen's recent success. He tied for ninth at the British Open last July in just his second career major start, and followed that with a tie for 27th at the PGA Championship the following month. Earlier this season he notched a pair of high finishes on the European Tour, tying for second at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and finishing tied for third at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
He plans to play THE PLAYERS Championship, U.S. Open and PGA Championship this season but has no immediate plans to set up shop in the United States.
"Hopefully, I'll play a few more events (in the U.S.) if I get a few invites," he said. "But I just moved to London, so I'm just taking it one step at a time."
SUNDAY: Stay tuned for Billy Horschel's winner's press conference.
All interviews will be streamed on PGATOUR.COM.
Tuesday, April 23
Guan Tianlang, 3 p.m. ET
Wednesday, April 24
Jason Dufner, 10 a.m. ET
Justin Rose, 3:30 p.m. ET
Bubba Watson, after pro-am
Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen has joined the PGA TOUR as a Special Temporary Member for the remainder of the 2013 season. He is now eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions as he attempts to earn his 2013-14 TOUR card through the non-member money list or non-member FedExCup points list.
Olesen finished tied for sixth at the Masters, and his earnings of $278,000 gives him $632,300 in six starts this season. That surpasses the total earnings of the player who finished No. 150 on the 2012 money list ($474,295) and makes him eligible to be a Special Temporary Member.
On Thursday, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano also joined the PGA TOUR as a Special Temporary Member.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano has joined the PGA TOUR as a Special Temporary Member for the remainder of the 2013 season. That means the Spanish golfer is eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions in his attempt to earn his 2013-14 TOUR card through the non-member money list or non-member FedExCup points list.
In addition, Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen also has the opportunity to accept special temporary membership. Olesen finished tied for sixth at the Masters, and his earnings of $278,000 gives him $632,300 in six starts this season.
That surpasses the total earnings of the player who finished No. 150 on the 2012 money list ($474,295) and makes him eligible to be a Special Temporary Member.
Fernandez-Castano has earned $592,020 this year, including the $89,920 he earned in finishing in a tie for 20th at the Masters.
Earlier this year, 19-year-old Jordan Spieth earned enough money to become a Special Temporary Member.
Thorbjorn Olesen shot a pair of 68s on the weekend to tie for sixth at his first Masters.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.com Correspondent
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Thorbjorn Olesen.
It’s an unforgettable name, but you’re not alone if you can’t place the face. Even after this week.
The 23-year-old Dane played his final three rounds at Augusta National in 10 under to back-door his second top-10 in three majors. Olesen closed with his second consecutive 68 to finish his first Masters at 4 under.
“I feel like I played some great golf all four days, actually," he said. "I shaped the ball really nicely, left to right and right to left and on the last two days I started holing a few putts."
The finish caught everyone’s attention, especially after his tie for ninth at last year’s British Open.
“It's a dream for me," he said. “It's a dream for me. It's lovely to be here at a major and especially at the Masters. It's a great golf course and the atmosphere here is amazing.’’
Olesen’s game was amazing the last three days. After opening with a 78, he added rounds of 70-68-68. It’s especially impressive considering he had to withdraw from the Shell Houston Open two weeks ago following a car accident.
“It’s definitely not the best preparation for this week," said Olesen who finished seventh at the Arnold Paler Invitational presented by MasterCard. “But I felt like before the accident that I played some great golf the whole year in Europe and in the Middle East.
“So I came into this week with a lot of confidence, but I knew that it was going to be tough with the last week that I had. But it turned out to be very good after the first day."
The accident – someone rear-ended a car a few cars in front of him and he had no chance to stop – left him with a stiff neck.
“It doesn't do anything to my swing," Olesen said. “It's just after a long day it's irritating me and starts getting stiff. But it's nothing to do with the swing."
Olesen has only won once on the European Tour, but has piled up top-10s, which got him into the top 50 in the world and into the Masters. To prep for his first appearance at Augusta National, he played with his father.
“I was a little bit intimidated by the greens, but after the first time playing a few practice rounds and flighting the shots, I got more confident," he said. “But it was nice to get past the first day, past the 78. Luckily I forgot it and got to the weekend and shot some good scores.”
So remember the name. After two top-10s in the last three majors, the 23-year-old seems like he just might be here to stay.
MARANA, Ariz. -- South African Tim Clark, a No. 15 seed, defeated Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, a No. 10 seed, in the second round at Dove Mountain.
Clark hit 14 of 16 greens and said after the match, "That's the best I've probably hit the ball all year, to be honest with you."
All square after six holes, Clark pulled away starting at the par-4 seventh when he rolled in a 13-foot birdie putt. He followed with a birdie at the par-5 eighth while Olesen found trouble off the tee. Olesen hit a wayward approach shot at the par-4 10th and eventually conceded the hole, putting him 3 down.
Olesen bounced back, stringing together three straight birdies. But he could only win one hole.
Clark was 2 up going into the 14th and added to his advantage with a great approach shot within 5 feet. Olesen had his own birdie attempt from inside 10 feet but couldn't hole it.
Not pleased with his game in the first round, Clark was happy to improve his performance Friday. "It's nice to have that turnaround this quickly," Clark said
Clark has now reached the third round for his third consecutive start in this event.
SCORECARD STATS: Clark carded five birdies and one bogey, Olesen carded three birdies and one bogey.
HOLES WON: Clark won five holes. Olesen won two holes.
NEXT OPPONENT: Clark plays Ian Poulter in the third round of the Snead bracket.
MARANA, Ariz. -- In a battle of two players making their World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship debuts, Thorbjorn Olesen prevailed, beating Jamie Donaldson 3 up.
The Dane never trailed in the match and only lost three holes. Olesen struck quickly, winning the fourth, fifth and sixth holes with pars, and had an early 3-up advantage when play was suspended on Wednesday.
Donaldson came back out Thursday and won the 13th hole with a 5-foot birdie but promptly gave that back with a bogey at the next. A Donaldson par at the par-5 15th narrowed Olesen's lead to 2 up but the Swede won the match when the Welshman bogeyed No. 16.
Olesen plays Tim Clark, a 2-and-1 winner over Adam Scott, in the second round.
"It was difficuly yesterday the first seven holes we played but I holed out really well ... and that was important," Olesen said. "I played solid today. ... Holed a few putts and that's what you need to do in this game."