Olesen sets sights on majors as Harrington pays for late Turkey slip

Olesen sets sights on majors as Harrington pays for late Turkey slip
ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 06:  Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark poses with the trophy following his victory during day four of the Turkish Airlines Open at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort on November 6, 2016 in Antalya, Turkey.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

ANTALYA, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 06:  Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark poses with the trophy following his victory during day four of the Turkish Airlines Open at the Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort on November 6, 2016 in Antalya, Turkey.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Thoroughbred Thorbjorn Olesen survived a final round charge by David Horsey to win the $7m Turkish Airlines Open and insisted that his goal now is to contend for majors and a Ryder Cup place.

The Dane saw his seven-stroke overnight lead shrink to just one shot when Horsey galloped to the turn in five under 29 at the Regnum Carya Hotel & Spa Resort.

But despite carding a six under 65, the Englishman had to settle for a share of second with China’s Li Haotong (65) as Olesen made three birdies in four holes from the 12th and carded a 69 to win by three strokes on 20 under par.

The 26-year pocketed a career biggest cheque for €1,065,388 to leap from 38th to ninth in the Race to Dubai as Horsey and Li also collected the biggest cheques of their careers — €557,077 each.

“It means a lot,” said Olesen, who had missed seven of his previous 10 cuts and ended up driving a buggy for compatriot and 2018 captaincy favourite Thomas Bjorn at the Ryder Cup. 

“It’s been a bad spell for me the last three or four months.

“I played well at the start of the season and felt like I had a good chance to actually make the Ryder Cup Team, but in the summer there, I just got into a bad spell and played bad in the big events.”

And the Dane, who was sixth on his Masters debut in 2013, is keen to push on now, insisting: “I feel like my game is good enough to compete in all the biggest tournaments and the majors. It’s obviously the goal to win a major at some point in my career.”

Pádraig Harrington was left to rue five dropped shots on the 10th over the four rounds as he found water off the tee and the three putted for a closing double bogey six and a 69 that left him tied 31st on five under par.

“Obviously it didn’t lend itself to a 210 yard second shot, or third shot as it turned out,” Harrington said of the tee shot at the 10th and subsequent miss from six feet for bogey that ended up costing him more than €25,000

On his missed putt, he shrugged: "Such is life. I holed the right putt two weeks ago in Portugal so I won’t worry about that. 

“I played nice and solid, the same as I played in Portugal, I just didn’t get as many breaks this week. There’s so many good things about my game, so I’ll just keep doing the same old same old.”

The Dubliner birdied the 12th and eagled the par-five 15th to go to six under for the tournament, then recovered from a bogey at the third by holing 18 footers for  back to back birdies at the seventh and eighth.

He shaved the hole with another birdie chance from 12 feet at the ninth but despite earning €45,875, he fell five place to 48th in the Race to Dubai with just this week’s Nedbank Golf Championship in South Africa and next week’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai to come.

Danny Willett shot a 75 that was only good enough beat two Turkish amateurs yesterday and left him tied 68th on two over par.

The Masters champion remains second in the Race to Dubai, €252,164 behind Open champion Henrik Stenson while Rory McIlroy, who is not playing with Stenson and Willet in Sun City this week, is €1.019m behind the Swede.

Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkish Republic, Mr. Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, a golf lover, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Turkish Republic Mr. Abdurrahim Boynukalın, and Turkish Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Ms. Seda Kalyoncu were the parts of the prize presentation group.

Ms. Kalyoncu said: “This was another fantastic tournament and we are delighted thatThorbjørn Olesen is our new champion. He played superbly at the Regnum Carya as a worthy winner. We are already looking forward to next year’s tournament. I would also like to thank Turkish Golf Federation’s President Mr. Ahmet Ağaoğlu, the European Tour and all of the staff at the Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort for all their hard work.”

Thorbjørn Olesen

“It means a lot. It’s been a bad spell for me the last three or four months. I played well at the start of the season and felt like I had a good chance to actually make The Ryder Cup Team, but in the summer there, I just got into a bad spell and played bad in the big events.

“Coming back here and then winning such a big tournament is huge, especially because I haven't been in contention for around four months, and then to get over the line and win this one is great.

“The last four holes were tough, I was not feeling my best and it was really difficult. But I managed to get it over line, and got a little bit of luck on 17. I took the shot on and hit a great shot from in the trees there.

“But it was very difficult those last four holes. Before that, I felt like I played some really great golf this week and I was very pleased with the way I did it. I was striking the ball a lot better, so that was good.”

David Horsey

“I sort of thought, if I could get to 20 under, that would be a reasonable effort and put a little bit of pressure. I just wanted to put on a little pressure early doors and thankfully I was able to do that. I just ran out of a bit of steam there on the back nine.

“I’m pleased with how I played. It’s probably the best I've played all week, so I’m a little disappointed I couldn't keep it going on the back nine.

“I wasn't looking at leaderboards. Like I said, I sort of had 20 in my head as to what I needed to get to, and obviously five-under through nine, it was realistically possible. But there were some poor wedge shots early in the back nine and I didn't quite get it close enough. But I knew it was about 19, 20 all the time, so I knew I needed to get to 20 or 21 to have a chance.

“I take a lot of confidence from this, it’s probably as relaxed as I've ever felt playing in contention. If I can just sort of tidy up in a few areas, there's no reason why I can't continue contending in the near future.”

Li Haotong

“It's fantastic for me. I think I did my best, and just like I said yesterday, a top five is really, really good for me. Actually the round was quite surprising for me, shooting five-under on the back nine.

“Actually when I made like four birdies in a row, after the fourth one, I thought, really, did I make four birdies in a row? I said wow, so it was pretty good day.

“I think I still need relax for every week. Don't try too hard, like I did last week in China. It's getting way better, especially after this week. I got a lot of World Ranking points and a lot of money, so that’s great.”

Bernd Wiesberger

“I’m glad we managed to play this week, after all was said and done by the promoter and everybody involved with the Turkish Airlines Open, I think everybody had a great week and so did we.
“I played nicely, and got myself somewhat back into the mix around the turn. But all in all, it was a good week. I'm happy with my performance and I made a good move in the Race to Dubai.
“I only made four bogeys all week again, similar to what I did at The Grove a couple of weeks ago and that's really positive for me, not getting into trouble too much. When I did today with some wayward shots, I got away with it a little bit. But keeping the bogeys off the card, that's a big positive to take into my final event in Dubai.”
Final Scores:

264 T Olesen (Den) 65 62 68 69, 

267 L Haotong (Chn) 66 68 68 65, D Horsey (Eng) 67 67 68 65, 

269 B Wiesberger (Aut) 66 70 66 67, 

270 G Coetzee (RSA) 64 73 66 67, 

271 J Lagergren (Swe) 70 64 70 67, D Lipsky (USA) 67 69 66 69, 

272 P Larrazábal (Esp) 67 69 68 68, 

273 N Elvira (Esp) 70 67 69 67, 

274 T Hatton (Eng) 72 67 67 68, B An (Kor) 68 69 69 68, M Ilonen (Fin) 74 66 67 67, 

275 J Wang (Kor) 67 70 68 70, A Otaegui (Esp) 70 63 71 71, D Drysdale (Sco) 67 68 69 71, R Gouveia (Por) 70 68 70 67, 

276 J Campillo (Esp) 66 69 71 70, R Jacquelin (Fra) 69 69 69 69, R Bland (Eng) 70 68 70 68, M Manassero (Ita) 66 68 68 74, T Jaidee (Tha) 67 66 70 73, 

277 A Johnston (Eng) 71 69 68 69, A Cañizares (Esp) 70 71 67 69, T Fleetwood (Eng) 71 71 67 68, 

278 A Levy (Fra) 72 74 67 65, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 72 67 69 70, R Paratore (Ita) 71 71 67 69, A Sullivan (Eng) 71 67 70 70, L Jensen (Den) 71 71 69 67, S Hend (Aus) 68 72 68 70, 

279 S Kjeldsen (Den) 69 72 68 70, P Harrington (Irl) 72 69 69 69, R Karlsson (Swe) 70 68 73 68, J Walters (RSA) 68 70 68 73, F Aguilar (Chi) 67 72 68 72, M Southgate (Eng) 72 72 67 68, D Fichardt (RSA) 70 73 67 69, G Bourdy (Fra) 72 70 66 71, G Havret (Fra) 69 69 71 70, J Carlsson (Swe) 68 74 67 70, L Bjerregaard (Den) 67 74 71 67, M Korhonen (Fin) 70 71 69 69, 

280 N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 69 70 71, P Lawrie (Sco) 69 70 71 70, N Bertasio (Ita) 69 71 71 69, C Paisley (Eng) 71 70 72 67, 

281 W Ashun (Chn) 70 70 69 72, V Dubuisson (Fra) 72 69 72 68, S Chawrasia (Ind) 74 69 69 69, M Warren (Sco) 68 75 67 71, O Fisher (Eng) 73 70 70 68, 

282 R Ramsay (Sco) 71 68 69 74, J Quesne (Fra) 68 71 71 72, M Carlsson (Swe) 70 74 71 67, B Stone (RSA) 73 68 71 70, J Morrison (Eng) 70 67 72 73, L Slattery (Eng) 69 69 72 72, L Westwood (Eng) 70 70 73 69, R Rock (Eng) 69 68 71 74, 

283 T Aiken (RSA) 71 75 67 70, M Kieffer (Ger) 73 73 69 68, 

284 F Zanotti (Par) 70 74 73 67, D Brooks (Eng) 71 72 72 69, P Edberg (Swe) 72 69 69 74, N Holman (Aus) 75 71 69 69, R Wattel (Fra) 69 71 72 72, A Lahiri (Ind) 72 71 74 67, 

286 M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 70 71 70 75, B Hebert (Fra) 70 72 78 66, D Willett (Eng) 69 74 68 75, R Sterne (RSA) 71 70 72 73, 

288 J Van Zyl (RSA) 76 72 71 69, H Porteous (RSA) 72 76 74 66, 

292 C Shinkwin (Eng) 71 72 76 73, M Siem (Ger) 80 77 67 68, 

294 A Altuntas (am) (Tur) 74 71 74 75, 

306 M Guner (am) (Tur) 81 75 73 77, 

312 L Acikalin (am) (Tur) 75 78 81 78