Golf star Thorbjorn Olesen accused of sexual assault on flight
LONDON — Police arrested Ryder Cup player Thorbjorn Olesen on suspicion of sexually assaulting a female passenger while she was asleep on a flight to London, intoxication and failing to comply with the orders from the airline crew, British newspapers reported Thursday.
The Sun and The Independent cited Metropolitan Police as saying a 29-year-old was arrested when the British Airways flight landed Monday at Heathrow.
Olesen played in the World Golf Championships event in Memphis, Tennessee, where he tied for 27th. The 29-year-old Dane has five European Tour victories and made his Ryder Cup debut last year by going 1-1, beating Jordan Spieth in singles as Europe won.
The PGA Tour said in a statement it was aware of the arrest, calling the allegations “deeply troubling.”
Olesen’s agent at Hambric Sports Group in Europe, Rory Flanagan, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Olesen allegedly got into an argument with other passengers in first class. He also is alleged to have urinated in the aisle.
The Sun reported that Ian Poulter, who also played the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, was on the flight and tried to calm the situation.
Poulter’s agent, Paul Dunkley, told The Sun that Poulter helped calm a “slightly intoxicated” passenger and then went to sleep “and the first he knew of anything else was when the police were waiting at Heathrow.”
Police said he was taken into custody and released under investigation.
The European Tour does not have a tournament until the Czech Masters from Aug. 15-18. Olesen, who is No. 62 in the world, is not a PGA Tour member and ineligible for any tournaments during the final month of the U.S. season.
Olesen, who was a PGA Tour member in 2013-14, received a foreign exemption to the AT&T Byron Nelson this year. He qualified for two other regular PGA Tour events.
“These are very serious and deeply troubling allegations,” the tour said in a statement. “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.”
The PGA Tour said it would not comment further until it gets additional information.
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