From coffee carrier to Ryder Cup rookie - Olesen proud as debut looms

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Thorbjorn Olesen found himself fetching coffees for Thomas Bjorn at the last Ryder Cup, but is ready to embrace an altogether more important role at Le Golf National.

Two years ago at Hazeltine, Olesen was employed as a buggy driver by fellow Dane and close friend Bjorn, who was one of the vice-captains to Darren Clarke.

"It's the toughest job I've ever had, for sure," said a smiling Olesen on Thursday. "Driving Thomas' buggy was difficult. He was very demanding, so I was running around.

"It was a great experience for me. Seeing behind the scenes, seeing what the captains do, vice-captains, realising how tough of a job they actually have to pick the teams. Standing on the first tee, seeing all that ... I think it can only help me for this week."

Elaborating on the tasks he was required to carry out for Bjorn, who has been a mentor to Olesen ever since he joined the European Tour, the 28-year-old again broke into a grin as he explained: "I definitely had to go into the clubhouse to get coffees a few times, or more than a few times.

"And it was really, really difficult to get from the course into the clubhouse, especially in a European cart!"

One of five rookies in Europe's team this week, Olesen was the last player to qualify automatically. Having been close to Bjorn for several years, he acknowledged how important it was to avoid needing a wildcard pick and potential accusations of favouritism had the captain selected him.

"It meant the world that I could qualify straight in, and it would have been a really tough decision for Thomas if I hadn't, because there were so many great players being outside," he added.

"I don't know if I would have got the pick or not. I think it makes me feel better, also, being here as a rookie, making the team. I feel more confident.

"Obviously it's very special to be a part of. It's something I've watched since I was seven, eight years old. Standing here now and being part of the team, it's just a special feeling and a very proud moment for myself."