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Thorbjorn Olesen calls Tiger Woods his 'idol,' paired with him Saturday

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
Olesen is pumped about playing with Tiger. (AP)

Thorbjorn Olesen was six when Tiger Woods won his first major, the 1997 Masters. On Saturday, the 22-year-old Dane will be in the penultimate group with Woods at the Open Championship. Tiger, even with the scandal that plagued him for most of the past 30 months, remains one of golf's best ever with that textbook swing, tactical course mastery and unparalleled mental toughness. It's why a generation of golfer have looked up to him -- and that includes Olesen, who already has six wins on the European Tour.

Olesen followed Thursday's 69 with a second-round 66, good for 5-under, a score he suspected would be enough to get him paired with Woods.

"I knew if I made a birdie on 18 I had a chance to play with Tiger," he told reporters Friday after draining a 22-footer to get to 5-under for the week, five shots back of leader Brandt Snedeker.

"That was amazing. He [Tiger] has been my idol for so many years so it's fantastic to have a chance to play with him, and I'm really looking forward to it." Olesen said while fighting back a smile.

As for his game plan heading into the weekend, Olesen sounds like he's going to stick with what got him there. "I've hit a lot of three-woods and that's what I'm going to do the next two days also," Olesen said. "Just try to keep the ball in the fairway and get it on the green and hopefully I can make some putts."

On paper, that's a sound strategy. But anyone who has played with Woods will tell you that the experience can be surreal bordering on overwhelming. If Olesen comes out the other side unscathed, by Sunday afternoon, he'll have as good a chance as anyone to become the 10th first-time major winner.

 
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