sport

Olesen relishing home support

For the first time in more than a decade the European Tour will touch down on Danish soil as the inaugural Made in Denmark gets underway at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort on Thursday.

Ian Poulter triumphed in the only previous European Tour event staged in Denmark when he beat Colin Montgomerie by a single shot to claim the Nordic Open in 2003.

The trip to Denmark comes at crucial point in the European calendar with only three events remaining until the nine automatic Ryder Cup qualification spots are sealed.

As may well have been expected, there is a strong Danish theme running throughout the field with Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen, who both showed signs of form in Valhalla last weekend, making the trip from Kentucky.

They join the likes of Morten Orum Madsen, Soren Kjeldsen and Anders Hansen among the Danish contingent, while other familiar names taking part include Nicolas Colsaerts, Chris Wood - also on the back of a strong display at the US PGA Championship - Paul Lawrie, Peter Uihlein and Russian Open champion David Horsey.

Fresh from a tied 30th place finish at the final major of the year, Olesen is hoping the home support can spur him on to only a second Race to Dubai victory.

\"Hopefully I will get some good support while I'm out there and it will help me play some better golf,\" the 2012 Sicilian Open champion told the European Tour website.

\"I've never had that before, so I don't know if it will, but I'm looking forward to trying it. There will be a lot of people out there watching me and normally I like that, so hopefully I can play some good golf for them.\"

Also in the Made in Denmark field will be 22-year-old German Moritz Lampert, after earning his place back on the European Tour following a hat-trick of wins on the Challenge Tour.

\"Last year was tough,\" admitted Lampert, who lost his Tour card in 2013 after just one season. \"I put a lot of pressure on myself, but that attitude has changed. I take things a little easier.

\"When I'm more relaxed, that is when I play my best. This week is going to be brutal though, with this wind. It's going to be a good test of golf.\"

Himmerland offers a 7,382-yard par-72 layout with a number of sub 400-yard par fours, although two of the three par fives measure in at more than 628 yards.

Standing at just 419 yards, the 18th hole offers birdie chances but players must avoid a large pond to the right of the fairway which protects the front of the putting surface.

The Farsoe course boasts a number of water hazards, as well as rolling fairways and contoured greens, which could make for tricky scoring over the four days.