Thorbjørn Olesen says he is reaping the rewards of the work he put into his game during the off-season but is aware there is still “a lot of work to do” to fulfil his goals as he arrived at the Hero Indian Open.
The Dane secured his seventh DP World Tour title with a commanding four-shot victory at the Thailand Classic on Sunday to climb to fifth position on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex.
The win pushed the 33-year-old back inside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking and boosted his hopes of playing in the 2023 Ryder Cup for a second time later this year in Rome.
Since the start of the 2023 season, Olesen has finished no lower than a tie for 20th and is eager to ensure his momentum does not stall on his debut at DLF Golf & Country Club.
“It’s very important, all that work I’ve put in during the winter and at the end of last year is starting to pay off,” he said.
“I saw glimpses of it in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and it’s just slowly getting better. Last week, a lot of that work clicked and I felt comfortable, which was nice.
“I haven’t done that for a while, so it’s just really nice to see that hard work paying off. It’s a nice start but there’s a lot of work to do this year to achieve my goals.”
After four years away due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tour returns to India and Olesen says he could not be more pleased to make his debut in the event.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been to India and it’s been on my schedule from when I made it in December.
“It’s a very important week for me. There’s a break after this so I want to try my best this week to have a really good finish and see if I can climb up that ranking a little bit more.”
The win at Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand continued Olesen's fine record of converting 54-hole leads into victories, having now achieved the feat six times on the DP World Tour.
“I think what I was most proud of was the way I felt and just stayed aggressive,” he said.
“I knew it was a course when you can make a lot of birdies and I thought it was very important on Sunday not to try and just protect the score but go out there and be very aggressive.
“I felt like I did that really well on Sunday, gave myself a lot of good chances, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Another Dane riding high on confidence is fellow Ryder Cup hopeful Nicolai Højgaard after he continued his stellar start to the campaign by finishing tied fifth last week.
The two-time Tour winner has consistently been competing towards the top of the leaderboard, with three top tens in his first five appearances.
Like Olesen, he doesn’t have any experience of playing at this week’s venue but is aware there will be a premium on accuracy off the tee.
“Compared to last week it's a little bit different off the tee and it's a tight course,” he said.
“You get rewarded if you hit in the fairways but I would almost say this week is just about keeping it out of trouble.
“Keep the ball alive, basically, on certain holes and then there's a few scoreable holes out there but it's a difficult course.
“If you're on your game you can shoot some good scores out here but if you're slightly off line you can get punished.”