Nicolai Hojgaard Wins the Ras al Khaimah Championship

Nicolai Hojgaard Wins the Ras al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club
Nicolai Hojgaard celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Ras al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club on Feb 6, 2022 in Ras al Khaimah, UAE. (Photo by David Cannon via Getty Images)

Nicolai Hojgaard closed with a 68 to reach 24 under and claim his second European Tour title at the 2022 Ras al Khaimah Championship.

The 20-year-old Dane entered Sunday’s finale at the Al Hamra Golf Club holding a three-shot advantage. His lead ballooned to five shots when he eagled the par-5 3rd hole but after a four-hole stumble around the turn, Hojgaard suddenly found himself down two strokes to a hard-charging Jordan Smith.

After a bounce-back birdie on No. 13, Hojgaard produced an highlight-reel eagle on 14 to go two up on Smith.

He added a pair of gains on 17 and 18, resulting in a 68 to finish the week on 24-under par.

Nicolai Hojgaard Wins the Ras al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club
Nicolai Hojgaard celebrates with caddie on the 18th green after winning the Ras al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club on Feb 6, 2022 in Ras al Khaimah, UAE. (Photo by Andrew Redington via Getty Images)

“It’s very sweet. It’s been such a tough grind today,” said Hojgaard, who has now won twice in his last eight starts. “Got off to a good start and then I struggled quite a bit.

“I had to dig deep out there and the turning point was obviously on 13 where I saw Jordan Smith had made a run and was two up when I was on the green at 13, 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 a double bogey and a bogey on 12. So I had to dig deep and my good friend Christian on the bag, he did a brilliant job of keeping me focused and getting me motivated for the finish. And it turned out pretty good.

“I’m quite excited for the future now. I’m not really thinking about it, but obviously when you’re playing good you start looking at all the Rankings. I’m motivated to keep going and get better and hopefully quality for the big tournaments.”

Not yet 21, Hojgaard now owns two European Tour titles (2021 Italian Open), and sits just one victory behind his twin brother Rasmus Hojgaard.

Smith (63) finished alone in second on 20 under, three clear of Haotong Li (63), Lukas Nemecz (66), Matthieu Pavon (66) and Adrian Otaegui (67).

Ras al Khaimah Championship Leaderboard

Final Top-10

Pos-Player-Score (Rd 4)
1. Nicolai Hojgaard -24 (-4)
2. Jordan Smith -20 (-6)
3. Haotong Li -17 (-9)
3. Lukas Nemecz -17 (-6)
3. Adrian Otaegui -17 (-6)
3. Matthieu Pavon -17 (-5)
7. Tapio Pulkkanen -16 (E)
7. David Law -16 (+1)
9. Shaun Norris -15 (-3)
9. Thomas Detry -15 (-1)
9. Oliver Bekker -15 (E)


Video: Hojgaard’s Top Shot

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