Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

Thorbjorn Olesen was not in control of his body when he touched a woman’s breast during a transatlantic flight, a court has been told.

Ryder Cup winner Olesen is currently on trial at London’s Aldersgate
House Nightingale Court where he has denied charges of sexual assault,
assault by beating and being drunk on an aircraft during a British
Airways flight from Nashville to London Heathrow in July 2019.

Witness allege that, amongst other things, the 31-year-old Dane grabbed a woman’s breast, urinated on a fellow first-class passenger’s seat and was “under the influence of something” during the journey.

• Spieth and Stenson hit with bizarre penalty

• Bryson: “I nearly quit golf this year”

Giving evidence yesterday,
Olesen, who denies all charges, attributed his “bizarre behaviour” to
mixing alcohol with two melatonin tablets along and a further two
Ambien/Zolpadine pills.

Addressing the jury today, his QC Trevor Burke said: “His conduct was not voluntary, that is the essence of automatism.”


added that the prescription-only Ambien/Zolpadine pills had been given
to Olesen prior to his trip to the United States by his partner who had
ordered them from a “dodgy website”. All of this, said Burke, made
Olesen’s actions “explainable, medically speaking”.

• Historic Scottish club facing “imminent closure”

“He would never have knowingly taken them had he recognised even the
remotest risk of his life being completely ruined,” said Burke. “All
this man has ever wanted to do was play golf, please let him play it

Prosecutor Max Hardy has urged the jury to convict Olesen, who was
joined on the plane by other players including Ian Poulter and Justin

“Were those golfers letting their hair down after a very stressful
period, including what some people consider the most important golf
tournament of the year,” asked Hardy.

“Is there a possibility of deliberate consumption of alcohol and
pills for recreational purposes knowing that was not going to cause any
trouble with doping rules?”

The trial continues.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses