Olesen on 'right track' as he shares British Masters lead

·2-min read
Fine first round - Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen carded a 66 on the opening day of the British Masters (AFP/Ben STANSALL) (Ben STANSALL)

Ryder Cup winner Thorbjorn Olesen said he felt he was on the "right track" after taking a share of the lead on Thursday's opening day of the British Masters.

The Dane carded six birdies and no bogeys as he went round in 66 at The Belfry, a total that was equalled late in the day by New Zealand's Ryan Fox, who birdied his last three holes.

The pair established a one-shot lead over Scotland's Richie Ramsay, Germany's Hurly Long and China's Wu Ashun, while defending champion Richard Bland was one over par after going round in 73 on his 500th European Tour appearance.

Olesen, 32, is hoping to bring attention back to his golf after he was cleared of assaulting a woman on a transatlantic flight by an English court in December last year.

He said he had turned into an "automaton" and was not in control of his body after drinking and taking prescription-only sleeping pills before a flight from Nashville to London in July 2019, following a tournament in Memphis.

"You have to stay in the present, obviously, but it's been a while since I've been in the winner's circle and that's my main goal this year," said Olesen, who was ranked 62nd in the world at the time of the incident but is currently 376th.

"I've not been working hard enough for a few years to be at that level, so I know there is a lot of work to be done."

The five-time European Tour winner added: "But I feel I am on the right track now... I should have some years left in me -- hopefully the best years.

"I still have a lot of goals and that's why I've started to work hard again and I want to get back to winning and back up the world rankings."

Lee Westwood, a former winner of this event, had to settle for a 72 after dropping shots on his last two holes, while fellow Englishman Danny Willett, the 2016 US Masters champion, carded a 73.

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