Thorbjorn Olesen is free to play in the upcoming “UK swing” after the European Tour lifted the indefinite suspension on the Dane, who is awaiting trial on a sexual assault charge.
The Ryder Cup golfer’s playing privileges were put on hold last August “pending a legal outcome” after he was arrested and charged on three counts following an incident on a flight from Nashville to London following the World Golf Championship event in Memphis.
It is alleged that the then 29-year-old abused passengers and crew before being calmed by 2018 Ryder Cup team-mate Ian Poulter. It is also alleged that Olesen then “molested” a woman while Poulter slept, before urinating in their first-class aisle. Olesen has always denied the charges and pleaded not guilty.
The trial was scheduled for May, but because of a backlog of cases, caused in part by the coronavirus pandemic, it has been pushed back to December 2021 and after discussions with his legal team the Tour has confirmed he can return to competition. The Tour revealed that his playing status will be reviewed following the conclusion of the legal process.
Olesen could reappear at the British Masters in Newcastle later this month, in what would be his first Tour event in almost a year. In this time, Olesen has fallen 90 places in the world rankings to 166th. “While my team and I initially agreed that I would not participate in Tour events while the legal proceedings were outstanding, I am naturally grateful to the European Tour for allowing me to continue my career following the lengthy adjournment of my trial,” Olesen said in a Tour statement.
“Obviously, the case itself is still ongoing so I will continue to make no comment about it.”