Young gun Højgaard wins Ras Al Khaimah Championship

Young gun Nicolai Højgaard has taken out his second European Tour title winning the Ras Al Khaimah Championship in the United Arab Emirates by four strokes over England’s Jordan Smith.

Højgaard began the final round building on his three shot overnight lead before moving to five following an early eagle. By the turn the gap was reduced to one with Smith playing solid golf and with Højgaard dropping another shot at the 12th and Smith carding three birdies in succession, the Englishman lead by two at the 14th.

Nicolai Højgaard Nicolai Højgaard (Credit: European Tour)

Yet Højgaard refused to give in and on the 14th produced a stellar shot to card an eagle for a two shot advantage after Smith, three groups ahead, bogeyed the 15th. Further birdies by Højgaard over the closing two holes for a closing 68 had Højgaard finishing at 24-under-par.

“It’s very sweet,” said Højgaard following his victory. “It’s been such a tough grind today. Got off to a good start and then I struggled quite a bit.”

“I had to dig deep out there and the turning point was obviously on 13 where I saw Jordan Smith had made a run and was two up when I was on the green at 13, and I stepped up with a clutch finish so I’m really happy.”

Back in September, the 20-year-old won his maiden European Tour title at the Italian Open. A few weeks back, Adam Scott, when paired with Højgaard during the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, had nothing but praise for the young gun.

“I’ve got to say I was really impressed”, said Scott when asked what he thought of Højgaard’s game.

“I was saying to my caddie that it has been a while since I have played alongside a young kid and he made me sit back and take notice. There is nothing stopping a kid like that. He was phenomenal to watch.”

Maverick Antcliff finished the best of the Australians in a share of 27th position, with Jason Scrivener in a share of 53rd position with most Aussies choosing to play in the Asian Tour’s Saudi International.