Thorbjorn Olesen was arrested at Heathrow Airport earlier this week after a woman alleged that he sexually assaulted her mid-flight, reports Fox News. The 29-year-old Danish golfer was flying from Nashville to his home in London. He had just completed a weekend of play at the WGC-FedEx St. June Invitational, where he finished 3-under par in a tie for 27th.
According to the report, Olesen was on a British Airways flight, where he allegedly became drunk and abusive in the first-class zone of the aircraft.
Here’s what you need to know about the incident, as well as Olesen.
1. Fellow Golfer Ian Poulter Tried to Calm Olesen Before He Fell Asleep for the Long Flight
English golfer Ian Poulter was with Olesen, and he apparently tried to calm his 2018 Ryder Cup teammate down early in the flight. He later fell asleep and missed Olesen’s alleged transgressions, reports the Golf Channel.
Ian Poulter was reportedly on the flight and The Sun quoted Poulter’s agent, Paul Dunkley, as saying Poulter tried to calm a “slightly intoxicated” passenger, adding: “He [Poulter] then went to sleep and the first he knew of anything else was when the police were waiting at Heathrow.”
Olesen is a part of the European Tour, as well as the PGA Tour. Both organizations are investigating the matter. A spokesperson for the European Tour told GOLF.com: “This is an active police matter and therefore we have no comment.”
The PGA Tour said in a statement: “These are very serious and deeply troubling allegations. Even though he is not a member of the PGA Tour, a claim of this magnitude is something we take very seriously. We are in close contact with our counterparts at the European Tour, and we will not provide further comment until additional information is available from the authorities.”
British Airways told Fox News in a statement that “customers and crews deserve to enjoy their flights, and not to suffer any form of abuse,” and that “This sort of behavior will not be tolerated, and the appropriate action will always be taken.”
2. The Arrest Isn’t Preventing Him From the FedEx Playoffs, Since He Isn’t Affiliated With It
Olesen is not participating in the Wyndham Championship this weekend in Greensboro (N.C.), which is the last event before the FedEx Playoffs. However, he has officially been a part of the European Tour since turning pro in 2008.
According to his PGA Tour profile, he does not have a FedEx ranking.
He has been released under investigation. The initial arrest by the Metropolitan Police was for “suspicion of sexual assault, being drunk on board an aircraft and failing to comply with the orders of cabin crew.”
The next possible event on the European Tour is the Austrian Open from Aug. 8-11, which is played in Atzenbrugg. Without further comment from the European Tour, it is unclear if he is ineligible for that competition.
3. Olesen Has Earned Over $14 Million in Prize Money During His Career
According to Yahoo Sports, Olesen has accumulated $14,407,801 of prize money during his 11-year professional career. He is No. 46 on the all-time European Tour money list with €11,243,932, which equates to about $12.5 million.
The biggest haul of his career was €1,065,388 with his victory at the 2016 Turkish Airlines Open. He has also notched victories at the 2018 Italian Open, 2015 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, 2014 ISPS HANDA Perth International and 2012 Sicilian Open. He also claimed a win on the Challenge Tour at the 2010 Princess.
He also has four Nordic League triumphs, as well as a pair of top-10 finishes at major events. His career best at a major is a tie for sixth at the 2013 Masters, which was won by Adam Scott of Australia.
4. He Has Earned a Reputation as a Bachelor & Is Currently Single
There are no current signs of any relationship or previous girlfriend for Olesen. As early as 2012, writers such as Jeff Babineau of Golf Week advertised his single status.
He’s a strapping, good looking kid who may give Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott a run for their money as a favorite to watch among the ladies. (Yes, girls, he’s quite single.)
At the 2018 Ryder Cup, he was reportedly teased for being the only bachelor on the European team. According to The Telegraph:
Having been mocked by his teammates for being Europe’s only singleton, Thorbjorn Olesen boosted his bachelor appeal yesterday by blasting away world No 3 Jordan Spieth.
Last week Olesen was surrounded by the other players’ partners for a photo as part of a wind up at the Palace of Versailles.
That photo shows all of his other teammates smooching their girlfriends and wives while Olesen is simply smiling at the camera.
5. His Given First Name is Jacob, but He Changed It to Distinguish Himself
According to Babineau, Olesen’s original first name was Jacob. He changed it to Thorbjorn, which translates to “Thunderbear,” according to Rocky Hambric, whose management firm (Hambric Sports) started representing Olesen since he turned pro.
He was born in Fureso, Denmark, just north of Copenhagen per Golf Monthly. After a short soccer career in Denmark, he switched to golf full-time and pretty much skipped an amateur career. Babineau states that he idolized Tiger Woods growing up.
He was hoping to get paired with Tiger when he the two played earlier this season in Abu Dhabi, but the pairing did not come off. Hambric said Olesen was excited to be able to play alongside Woods, his longtime idol, for today’s third round, and got some valuable advice from a few of his housemates this week in Lytham St. Annes to help him deal with the chaos that is part and parcel with playing alongside the 14-time major champion.
Babineau’s article came in 2012, three years after the world learned about Woods’ infidelity in his marriage with Elin Nordegren in 2009.