Højgaard Climbs Race to Dubai with Triumph in Mauritius

Published December 9th, 2019 - 04:14 GMT
Højgaard in action
Højgaard in action

Rasmus Højgaard soared up to second in the Race to Dubai Rankings after becoming the third youngest winner in European Tour history with a dramatic play-off victory at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

The 18-year-old birdied the 18th to get to 19 under par alongside Italian Renato Paratore and Frenchman Antoine Rozner as the tournament went to extra holes for the third time in as many stagings at Heritage Golf Club.

The Dane missed a 12-foot eagle putt for the trophy on the first trip back up the last before halving the hole with Rozner at the second attempt. Højgaard would not be denied at the third time of asking with an eagle sealing a maiden title.

At 18 years and 271 days old, only Italian Matteo Manassero - who won twice as a 17-year-old - and New Zealander Danny Lee have won on the European Tour at a younger age.

"This is a dream come true," said Højgaard, who collects 335 points to move from 37th to second in the Race to Dubai. "It's amazing. To be on the European Tour so early is a dream come true and to be a winner now, it's incredible. I can't put it into words. I'm looking forward to the next challenge.

"I just tried to be patient and set up as many birdie chances as possible and see if I could hole putts.

"I had nothing to lose in this position (the play-off), it was just a driver all day. I hit three good approach shots into 18 and got it done on the third hole."

Meanwhile, Paratore and Rozner both picked up 173.5 points to jump up to fourth and fifth in the Rankings respectively.

Benjamin Hebert, Grant Forrest, Thomas Detry and Louis de Jager finished a shot further back to share fourth place and collect 78.5 points apiece. Hebert, Detry and de Jager sit in tied 13th in the Rankings while Forrest moves up to tenth.

The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 19-22, 2020 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.

Top 10 Race to Dubai Rankings after the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

1              Pablo LARRAZÁBAL         ESP                         460.0

2              Rasmus HØJGAARD         DEN                       347.9

3              Joel SJOHOLM                   SWE                       323.6

4              Renato PARATORE           ITA                         206.5

5              Antoine ROZNER              FRA                        193.0

6              Will BESSELING                 NED                       141.7

6              Charl SCHWARTZEL          RSA                        141.7

6              Branden GRACE                RSA                        141.7

9              Johannes VEERMAN       USA                       89.4

10           Grant FORREST                  SCO                        88.7

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