Højgaard bags four-shot victory at Ras Al Khaimah – Golf News
Denmark’s Nicolai Højgaard sealed his second DP World Tour title at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, emerging from a roller-coaster final day with a four-stroke victory courtesy of an array of world-class recovery shots at Al Hamra Golf Club.
The win did not come easy for the Dane despite having enjoyed a three-shot lead going into the finale in the northernmost tip of the United Arab Emirates. The 20-year-old had put on an exhibition of long iron play all week, and that continued when he almost holed out for albatross from the sandy wasteland at the third hole, tapping in for an eagle.
But as Jordan Smith, a former winner in Ras Al Khaimah on the Challenge Tour, began to apply the pressure, Højgaard double-bogeyed the ninth and dropped another shot at the 12th, and Smith suddenly held a two-stroke lead.
Højgaard was equal to the challenge, however, and just as he had done on day three, he flourished down the final stretch. Another absolutely stunning recovery from the waste on the 14th earned a second remarkable eagle of the day and helped him on the way to a four under 68, a 24 under total and a dominant triumph which moved him to ninth in the DP World Tour rankings.
Højgaard: “I had to dig deep out there, the turning point was on 13 where I saw that Jordan made a run and was two up, and I stepped up with a clutch finish, so I’m really happy. I was thinking that I was throwing the tournament away when I made double-bogey and then bogey on 12, I had to dig deep and my good friend Christian on the bag did a brilliant job keep me focused on motivated for the finish and it turned out pretty good.”
Smith, who finished tied ninth at last week’s Dubai Desert Classic, said: “I’m disappointed with the last couple of holes, missing those greens, but overall I’m really happy. I thought I was just one ahead. My thought was I’ve just got to keep going because I know Nicolai’s a couple of holes behind me, he’s going to be making a couple of birdies for sure, so I just needed to keep pushing on, but unfortunately it’s come up short. I feel really good about this year, happy with the changes I’ve made, happy with the work I’ve put in off the course and on the course. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (10.5°, Tensei white AV 65X)
Fairway woods: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (16.5° & 18°, Tensei 1K 85x)
Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (4-PW, PXLZ 6.5)
Wedges: TaylorMade Hi-Toe Raw 2 (52°, 56°, 60°10, Dynamic Gold True Temper S400)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Fastback 1.5
Ball: TaylorMade TP5