Sep 6th, 2021
Historic double for Højgaard brothers
Nicolai wins Italian Open a week after twin Rasmus's win in Switzerland
Photography: Getty Images
The Danish 20-year-olds become the first brothers to win back-to-back events on the European Tour after Rasmus Højgaard won last week's Omega European Masters in Switzerland.
Nicolai Højgaard came into the final round with a one shot lead and had found himself two clear on the back nine before back to back bogeys at the 14th and 15th wiped out his advantage and left him level with Tommy Fleetwood and Adrian Meronk going down the last.
He arrived at the 18th tee knowing he needed a closing birdie to win, and he did just that - holing from three feet to finish the tournament on 13 under par and clinch his maiden victory at this level, with Rasmus joining him on the green to celebrate.
"It means a lot. I've been grinding for a long time and seeing Rasmus win three times made me want to do it even more. And to finally get it done is very special and it's been a great week here so I'm just very happy to get it done," said Højgaard.
"It's hard actually to make birdies when you're in front but you just have to grind. Everyone's going to struggle at some point. You've just got to keep grinding - that's what my caddie Christian told me."
Meronk and Fleetwood finished in a share of second place on twelve-under just one shot behind Højgaard after posting rounds of 66 and 71 respectively. Ryder Cup star Fleetwood converted a must-make birdie putt on the 18th green to tie Meronk's clubhouse lead before Højgaard had finished his round.
"I hit a couple of bad shots at the wrong time but overall felt like I played well today. Especially on the front nine, I felt as comfortable as I'd felt all week, long game-wise, and just didn't putt like I had done throughout the first three days. I eventually got that going," said Fleetwood.
Home favourite Francesco Laporta was alone in fourth on eleven-under after closing the tournament with a 68 to finish as the leading Italian, one stroke ahead of Edoardo Molinari.