European Tour

Olesen in pole position at British Masters, SA's Walters lurks

Thorbjorn Olesen (Getty Images)
Thorbjorn Olesen (Getty Images)

Former European Ryder Cup star Thorbjorn Olesen established a three-shot lead on Saturday heading into the final round of the British Masters.

Five months after being cleared of sexual assault, Olesen emerged from a crowded leaderboard to move into pole position to lift the trophy.

Fuelled by a spectacular eagle-birdie finish at The Belfry, Olesen carded a third round of 69 to reach 11-under par on Saturday.

England's Marcus Armitage and halfway leader Hurley Long are his nearest challengers on eight-under.

Olesen, who beat three-time major winner Jordan Spieth in their singles match at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris, is attempting to rebuild his career after he was cleared in December last year of sexually assaulting a woman on a British Airways flight in July 2019.

The 32-year-old claimed he turned into an "automaton" and was not in control of his body after drinking and taking prescription-only sleeping pills before a flight from Nashville to London, following a tournament in Memphis.

Olesen was ranked 62nd in the world at the time of the incident but is currently 376th and admitted he will not find it easy as he attempts to win his sixth European Tour title and first since 2018.

"I'm going to be nervous," Olesen said. "It's been a long time since I've been in this position. I know how hard it is to win out here.

"I'm sure guys are going to come after me. I just have to stay aggressive and see what happens."

South Africa's Justin Walters is tied for fourth on seven-under par alongside American Chase Hanna, Denmark's Rasmus Højgaard, Scotsman Richie Ramsay and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Would you be keen to see the Springboks join the Six Nations?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes! The Northern Hemisphere is the future.
52% - 2445 votes
No! The Rugby Championship is still the pinnacle.
48% - 2229 votes