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Rasmus Hojgaard, the Danish 18-year-old, on Sunday became the third youngest ever to win on the European Tour and then had a warning for his fellow professionals: “My identical twin is as good, if not better than me”. Indeed, Nicolai was regarded as the more promising of these remarkable brothers when rising to world No 5 in the non-paid rankings and finishing second behind Sergio Garcia as an amateur at last year’s KLM Open.
Yet after the pair teamed up to win their country’s first Eisenhower Trophy, the biennial World Amateur Team Championship, it was Rasmus who came through last month’s qualifying school to capture his Tour card.
In doing so, he made history as the first player born in the 21st century to graduate and courtesy of this Mauritius Open glory, is now a European Tour winner after just five events.
That makes him the fastest Dane to a Tour win, beating 15-time winner and 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn’s record of 24 events.
And after watching Rasmus hole an eagle putt on the third extra hole to beat Italian Renato Paratore and Frenchman Antoine Rozner in sudden death, Bjorn was under no illusions of what he and the game at large had witnessed. “Unreal performance – 18 years old and performing like that,” Bjorn said.
“He and Nicolai will be a force in European golf for many years to come. Just amazing.”
Only Italian Matteo Manassero – who won twice as a 17-year-old – and New Zealander Danny Lee have won on Tour at a younger age than Hojgaard’s 18 years and 271 days, and Rasmus was appropriately “gobsmacked”.
“This is a dream come true – I can’t put it into words and am already looking forward to the next challenge,” he said, after his 68 for a 19-under total helped him to his £134,000 payday.
“I had nothing to lose in the play-off, so it was just a driver all day.
“I hit three good approach shots into the 18th and got it done on the third time.
“People ask me about my brother and all I can say is that he is as good as me, if not better.”