Nicolai Hojgaard hasn’t played the Shriners Children’s Open before, but he’s got someone in his corner he can go to for the tips and tricks to get around TPC Summerlin.
That’s brother, Rasmus, who posted 68-70 here in 2021 to miss the cut by one despite firing 4-under.
Hojgaard has got to be in good spirits these days after being on the winning European Ryder Cup team a couple weeks ago in Rome. The tournament rookie was far from a star on the team, but he didn’t need to be.
Hojgaard posted an 0-2-1 record. He had the benefit of being ushered along with big names like Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm. Hojgaard was the weaker of those tandems, but he still contributed enough shots to hold his own.
Hojgaard is a rising star who’s got two DP World Tour wins with a runner-up on that tour and the PGA Tour.
He’s still getting his feet wet playing in the United States. This will be Hojgaard’s seventh appearance stateside in 2023 and first since the 3M Open in July.
The Dane has played well in recent weeks across the pond. He took solo third at the D+D Real Czech Masters, T-5th at the Omega European Masters, and made the cut at the DP World Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship (T-64th).
Hojgaard ranks third on the DP World Tour in scoring average (69.71). He’s 13th in greens in regulation (70.86%) and 11th in driving distance (315.36). When clicking, Hojgaard’s got all the tools.
He traded in a little distance from 2022 (322.23) to find more fairways (55.72%).
Hojgaard was scheduled to tee it up in last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship. He was a healthy withdrawal, likely just to celebrate the Ryder Cup triumph. Can you blame him?
With a week off to rest, I like Hojgaard refreshed and ready to keep climbing up the world ranking and chase those big paychecks waiting for him on the PGA Tour.