Danish delight in World Cup triumph

Thorbjørn Olesen and Søren Kjeldsen proved the perfect blend of flamboyant youth and wily experience as they completed a shock triumph for Denmark at the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne on Sunday.

Danish delight in World Cup triumph
Thorbjørn Olesen (R) and teammate Søren Kjeldsen (L) of Denmark celebrate winning the World Cup of Golf on Sunday. Photo: Paul Crock/Scanpix
The pair displayed tremendous poise under pressure to hold off their challengers by four strokes to accomplish the biggest feat in Denmark's golfing history in the strokeplay team competition.
Denmark turned into the back nine at Kingston Heath with their four-shot overnight lead cut to just one, as a host of countries — including joint runners-up China, France and the US — queued up and waited for a stumble that never materialised.
The enigmatic 26-year-old Olesen and his veteran 41-year-old partner Kjeldsen instead played flawless fourball (better ball) golf as they made six birdies on the back nine to finish with a six-under 66 and a 20-under par total of 268 to win by four strokes for their first ever World Cup triumph.
When Olesen secured the historic trophy with a birdie on the 18th, he raised his fist to the crowd before embracing his team-mate Kjeldsen, who was playing in his sixth World Cup.
“We both came in good form this week and then we've just gelled so well,” Kjeldsen said before the pair hoisted the giant World Cup trophy.
“We've had an incredible week here in Melbourne, and I think a friendship has been built as well.”
The US$8 million event featured two-man teams from 28 countries and represented the biggest victory of each player's career, with world number 50 Kjeldsen and 70th-ranked Olesen both having won four times on the European Tour.
“It's been amazing, I love Australia. I have won in Perth also, so I don't know what it is about Australia,” Olesen said after seeing off the challenge of joint runners-up France, China and the US.
A nine-under round of 63 from Victor Dubuisson and Romain Langasque ensured France their highest finish in a World Cup, while a 65 from Wu Ashun and Li Haotong meant China came in on the same 16-under 272 mark as did the US team of Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker who carded a closing 66.
It was a big week for the Chinese, particularly 21-year-old Li, who followed up his 23rd place finish in the European Tour's Race to Dubai standings a week ago with a brilliant individual performance on Sunday.
A key moment came at the difficult par-three 15th hole after Kjeldsen found a  bunker and Olesen, under pressure, struck his tee hot gloriously to 10 feet and holed the birdie putt to give Denmark a three-shot cushion with three holes to play.
The duo were already boosted by Friday's incredible round of 60 which had placed them four shots better than any other team on the day.
Swedish duo Alex Noren and David Lingmerth finished in style with a 10-under par round of 62 that included six birdies on the back nine, to propel them to a fifth-place finish.

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Tennis courts and golf courses to reopen in Denmark

Danes will be able to take up their tennis rackets and golf clubs again after the country's two biggest sports associations announced that outdoor sports with no physical contact can resume again.

Tennis courts and golf courses to reopen in Denmark
Tennis will be one of the first sports to restart. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix
The Sports Confederation of Denmark and the country's other sports association DGI announced that they had agreed new guidelines for restarting group sports with the Danish Health Authority, in a press release issued on Tuesday. 
“This is the first sign of sport opening up, and we are really pleased that the health authorities have given us guidelines so that some activities can start up again,” Charlotte Bach Thomassen, chair of the Danish sports association DGI, said. 
“Of course, joining together in sports clubs must be safe from a  health point of view, so it is important to be aware that in many sports associations you will not be able to meet physically.” 
DIF chairman Niels Nygaard told Ritzau that the announcement did not mean any organisation would be required to restart activities they did not regard as safe. 
“These are voluntary associations where there are differences from association to association and sport to sport,” he said. “Our recommendations are not a requirement for associations to start activities. They can do it if it can be done under safe conditions, and if they have doubts about whether it can be done, then they shouldn't do it.”
According to the joint press release, group sports can now restart if: 
  • they take place outside 
  • participants can keep a distance of two meters from others
  • participants pay special attention to hand hygiene
  • rackets, clubs or other props are frequently cleaned
  • participants cough or sneeze into your elbow or a paper towel
  • participants stay home if they have a fever, cough or muscle soreness. 
  • shared facilities such as clubhouses and dressing and shower facilities are not used