With the COVID-19 virus postponing all forms of professional golf for the foreseeable future, we are taking a look at some of this season’s stars of the European Tour.
Danish youngster Rasmus Højgaard made headlines in December, as he became the third-youngest winner on the European Tour when he took home the AFRASIA BANK Mauritius Open title. Let’s spend a bit of time getting to meet him in this edition of meeting the winners of the European Tour. Last week, we started off with Pablo Laarazabal… now, Rasmus Højgaard.
Factfile – Rasmus Højgaard
Date of Birth: 12.03.2001
Turned Pro: 2019
Highest WR: 184th (March 2020)
Best RTD: N/A
ET Wins: 1 (2019 AFRASIA BANK Mauritius Open)
Højgaard first became known in the summer of 2016, when he lifted the Danish International Amateur Championship trophy. A week later, he was part of the Danish team that finished 3rd at the European Boy’s Team Championships.
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A successful three-week spell was rounded off with a win at the McGregor Trophy, the English Under 16 Amateur Stroke-Play Championship.
During his amateur career, he also represented Continental Europe in the Jacques Léglise Trophy before also being a part of the Danish team that won the 2017 European Boys Team Championship, beating the hosts Spain in the final.
Early in 2018, Højgaard played for Europe in the Bonallack Trophy, a competition much like the Ryder Cup, where a European amateur side faces a side from the Asia/Pacific region. The Dane won the individual competition for boys at the Toyota Junior World Cup, finishing four strokes ahead of his brother Nicolai, with Denmark also winning the team competition.
In September 2018, he was part of the Danish team that won the Eisenhower Trophy for the first time and he played for Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup later in the month.
Højgaard turned professional at the start of 2019, and was soon a regular on the Challenge Tour, including finishing runner-up on his debut on the Tour, at the Challenge de Espana.
He eventually finished in 21st on the Order of Merit, missing out on gaining a card for the 2020 European Tour season, but he came home inside the top five at the Final Stage of Qualifying School to book his place on the Tour.
Just two events later, and the Dane was a winner on the European Tour, as he claimed the victory at the AFRASIA BANK Mauritius Open in December 2019. He beat out Antoine Rozner and Renato Paratore in a playoff to become the third-youngest winner in the history of the Tour.
Alongside his twin brother Nicolai, who was runner-up at the 2019 KLM Open, the future of Danish golf looks strong. Benjamin Poke was the winner of the Qualifying School Final Stage, while Lucas Bjerregard, Joachim Hansen and Jeff Winther have all been up there in tournaments around the world.
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For Højgaard, a second win is not too far away, and as he is now exempt on the European Tour through to the end of 2021, he has no worries about the rest of this season, and that could help the Dane, who is still only a teenager.