LYTHAM ST ANNES, England (Reuters) - A ball fizzed past the British Open gallery on the seventh hole at Lytham and a few seconds later bounded down the fairway and passed Tiger Woods’s huge tee shot.
No wonder young Dane Thorbjorn Olesen strode off the tee in bullish mood, laughing and chatting with the 14-times major winner as they prepared to play their second shots well over 300 yards away.
One of the hottest new players on the European Tour after a debut win in April, his enormously powerful swing drew warm applause from the Lytham crowds.
It was all a bit of a blur for the 22-year-old, experiencing the Woods circus for a first time as he shot a one-over-par 71 in the third round to sit seven behind leader Adam Scott.
“I ripped the drive on seven. I‘m quite proud, I hit it further than Tiger. That’s something I’ll take with me and I can always say I made a drive longer than him. That’s nice,” a smiling Olesen told Reuters.
“I didn’t try to hit it harder actually. I slowed down the swing a little bit from the tee and just kept the ball in play,” the world number 112 said of his approach to tackling the Lancashire course.
The cool-headed Olesen is clearly a popular figure, trying not to laugh after sinking a birdie putt on the 17th that brought raucous cheers from his Danish following.
It was, of course, largely serious business in the company of Woods but the pair managed to speak during the round.
“We were talking about the course and where we are staying. He’s a really nice guy and I really look up to him. It was nice to chat but I didn’t want to disturb him too much,” said Olesen.
Editing by Ed Osmond