April 24 2013
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."