Sep 5th, 2021
Nicolai Højgaard leads Italian Open
Dane looks to follow his twin brother into the winner's circle
Photography: Getty Images
Rasmus Højgaard won last week's Omega European Masters in Switzerland to become a three-time European Tour champion at the age of just 20 and after making his huge move up the leaderboard on Saturday, Nicolai has an opportunity to make the Højgaards the first brothers to win back-to-back events on the European Tour.
The Dane produced the shot of the day at the par four 16th, coming close to holing his tee shot for an unlikely albatross. He instead made a close range eagle there to add to the four birdies he already had on his card and would head into the clubhouse on thirteen-under-par.
"I'm really happy. I played overall pretty good. I wanted to get up and down on the 18th to post 14 under but I'm really happy with minus 13," said Højgaard .
"I am just trying to have a steady level of emotions. I try not to get too excited when I am hitting a shot or the other way around. I am just trying to be calm all the time and sometimes it happens to be good, sometimes not, but I had a really good day on the course."
Tommy Fleetwood and Daniel van Tonder had joined Højgaard at the summit around the time he tidied up for par on the 18th green, but they each dropped their only shot of the day late in their rounds to slip back to twelve-under. They share second place, one stroke ahead of Finn Mikko Korhonen in fourth.
"I'm happy with where I'm at in the tournament. It's nice to come down the stretch on a Saturday in contention knowing you're fighting for your place so high up on the board going into Sunday, and I've got Sunday to look forward to," said an upbeat Fleetwood.
"I'm excited to go into a Sunday in contention and see where my game's at really. It'll be a nice time to come into form so I'll keep trying."