Pressure building as Ryder Cup race nears end

Ryder Cup

There is more than just a trophy up for grabs at this week's Made in Denmark with the final automatic qualifying spot for the Ryder Cup Team due to be settled.

Captain Thomas Bjorn already knows seven of his team and the remaining five will be decided in the next seven days as Europe get ready to fight to win the Cup back at Le Golf National.

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Thorbjorn Olesen currently holds the final automatic place but the Dane could be overhauled by Matthew Fitzpatrick or Eddie Pepperell should either Englishman lift the trophy in Silkeborg.

Should Fitzpatrick win, Olesen would need to finish better than a tie for seventh with two others to keep him at bay, while a top 12 finish would hold off the challenge of Pepperell.

Thomas Bjorn

So, how are the contenders feeling ahead of the pivotal event?

Thorbjorn Olesen said: “Obviously it's nice that they haven't overtaken me but last week was more like preparing me for this week, trying to get ready and trying to make a good result this week, that's all I've been thinking about."

Meanwhile, Matt Fitzpatrick added: "I know what I need to do. I've seen the permutations to get automatic qualification. This week is a big week. I know Thomas is announcing his picks next Wednesday and if I can put it in a good performance here and then show the signs that I'm playing well then you never know.

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"I think everyone has got in their own mind who is in Thomas' mind and who deserves a pick and who is on the fringes. A good week this week and hopefully I can push myself into the final places. This has been my main goal, to make this team. I've become good friends with Thomas and to play for his team in France would be amazing."

Thomas Pieters

Like Olesen, Eddie Pepperell would be in line for a Ryder Cup debut should he qualify.

“It’s mad to think that two years ago at this event I was really struggling and this was in the middle of a run of events where I ended up losing my card," he said. "Now, two years on, here I am with a chance to qualify for the Ryder Cup. It’s a crazy game.

"There’s a lot on the line this week. It’s good for us and it’s good for the event that there’s something on the line. Playing with Thomas as well for the first two days should be fun and lots to look forward to here this week.”

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Thomas Pieters, meanwhile, can't qualify automatically but, after a good run of form - including three top tens in his last four starts - and an incredible Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine, will be right in the mix for a pick with another good performance this week.

“Everybody knows what I have to do, I know it very well as well," he said. "I've just got to focus on Thursday and take every day as it comes. Play well, there's not much else you can do, right?

"Thorbjorn has to be on the team, he's on it right now. There are so many good guys playing good golf right now so it's going to be really tough for Thomas.”

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