The circuitous journey to prominence for Jacob Skov Olesen began in his homeland of Denmark, included collegiate stops at Ranger (Texas) Community College, TCU and Arkansas, and culminated on Saturday with a victory on one of amateur golf’s most prestigious stages, The Amateur Championship.

Olesen, 25, defeated Dominic Clemons of England, 4 & 3, in the 36-hole final at Ballyliffin Golf Club’s Glashedy Links in Ireland.

“It hasn’t really sunk in,” Olesen, the first Dane ever to reach an Amateur final, said. “But I’m so happy and so proud and so thankful for everyone. Overall, an emotional day.”

The victory in this the 129th edition of The Amateur Championship earns him an invitation to the The Open next month at Royal Troon. He also will receive invitations to play in the Masters and U.S. Open next year, provided he remains an amateur, though he has said he intends to turn professional near the end of 2024.

“I’m really excited,” he said about his impending Open debut. “That was going to be my one off week the next eight, nine weeks. Now it’s not. That’s a pretty damn good problem to have, I’d say. I’m really happy. Can’t really believe that’s true, but that’s what you dream of.”

Olesen, 88th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, opened a 2-up lead through the first 18 holes, then after halving the 19th hole, won four straight holes to go 6 up, too steep a deficit for Clemons to overcome. He did win the 27th and 28th holes with a birdie and an eagle, the latter when he drove the green at the 370-yard par 4, to cut the deficit to four.

“I was getting a little stressed there,” Olesen said. “You don’t want to start throwing away a couple.”

Clemons, 22 and 310th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, also has elevated his profile in recent months. He began playing college golf at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, transferred to Stetson in DeLand, Florida, and last week Alabama golf coach Jay Seawell announced that he was transferring again and will play for the Crimson Tide going forward. Moreover, last month Clemons won the Scottish Men’s Open Amateur Championship at Muirfield by 17 shots.

Main Image: The R&A