Nicolai Højgaard weathered the chasing pack to win his first European Tour title with a one-shot victory at the Italian Open, which also saw him make history alongside his twin brother Rasmus.
The 20-year-old Danes became the first brothers to win back-to-back European Tour events after Rasmus Højgaard won the Omega European Masters last week in Switzerland.
Nicolai Højgaard entered the last lap with a one-stroke lead and found himself two points ahead of the last nine before back-to-back bogeys at the 14th and 15th erased his advantage and left him tied with Tommy Fleetwood and Adrian Meronk last. . He made it to the 18th tee knowing he needed a closing birdie to win, and that is exactly what he did – dropping from three feet to end the tournament to 13 under par and land his first win at this level, with Rasmus joining him on the green to celebrate.
Meronk and Fleetwood were second at under 12 after securing rounds of 66 and 71 respectively, with Fleetwood also converting a must-have birdie putt on the 18th green to equalize Meronk’s lead in the clubhouse before Højgaard did. has finished his round.
Home favorite Francesco Laporta was alone in fourth with 11 under after closing with a 68 to finish as the Italian leader, one stroke ahead of Edoardo Molinari.
Højgaard said: “This victory means a lot to me. I’ve been working for a long time and seeing Rasmus win three times made me want to do it even more. And finally, it’s very special and it’s been a great week here, so I’m just so glad I did.
“I am very happy that Rasmus and his girlfriend and my girlfriend were there to see me do it. I really appreciate him because I couldn’t see his victories. It really means a lot to me and it’s just a very special day. I had a sore foot before I came here and to do that is a pretty good story. I didn’t see the returning nine until the first round so it’s been a crazy week.
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