Simon Khan and Thorbjørn Olesen are both relishing their debuts in this week’s Seve Trophy by Golf+, but the pair have their sights set on very different outcomes come Sunday night.
As one of five Englishmen representing Great Britain & Ireland at St-Nom-La Bretéche Golf Club, Khan is hoping he can help Sam Torrance’s team extend their proud record in the biennial contest, having racked up six victories in a row.
On the other side of the fence, Olesen joins fellow Dane Thomas Björn in a Continental Europe team who will be trying to stop that run of success and claim the trophy for the first time since the inaugural contest in 2000.
Khan and Olesen are among seven debutants in Paris, with Tommy Fleetwood, Stephen Gallacher, David Lynn also making their bows for Great Britain & Ireland, and Frenchman Grégory Bourdy and Dutchman Joost Luiten experiencing the competition for the first time for Continental Europe.
Having played in the WGC-Accenture Match Play for the first time this season, Olesen now cannot wait to try his hand at team match play under the stewardship of José María Olazábal.
“It's nice to represent Europe - that's a big honour, and hopefully we can beat Great Britain and Ireland,” said the 23 year old. “I've played a lot of soccer and I really enjoy team sports. I think it suits my game and suits my brain, so I'm really looking forward to it.
“Seve is one of the greatest players ever, so it's a big honour for me to be part of this match. Thomas and I have spoken a bit about the Seve Trophy and I hope I at least get one match with him.”
At 41 and as winner of the flagship BMW PGA Championship in 2010, Khan has plenty of experience but is yet to feature in a Seve Trophy by Golf+.
“My better years have been on the even years, and the odd years is when the Seve Trophy is on,” said Khan who, alongside fellow GB&I teammate Marc Warren, lost in a play-off to Matteo Manassero at this year’s BMW PGA Championship. “I was always desperate to get in it in previous years and it never worked out. So I'm delighted and I'm going to give everything.
“The Continental Europe team maybe has a bit more experience, but I think we've got a very strong team and a good bunch of lads. So I think we'll all get on well.”
Pairings for Thursday’s Fourballs will be announced at the opening ceremony, which takes place at 3pm on Wednesday.