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Nicolai Højgaard relishing Marco Simone test in maiden defence

Nicolai Højgaard relishing Marco Simone test in maiden defence

Nicolai Højgaard may not be planning to change his mindset as he defends a title for the first time on the DP World Tour this but he admits he may have to change his tactics at the 2022 DS Automobiles Italian Open.

Nicolai Højgaard

The Dane lifted the trophy at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club 12 months ago and has since gone on to win his second DP World Tour crown at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship presented by Phoenix Capital.

Being one of the rising stars on Tour does not appear to have had much effect on the 21-year-old but he revealed the setup of the 2023 Ryder Cup venue may have an effect on his game this week.

"For what I'm planning on doing there is no difference but I don't know if it's changing," he said. "I've never tried it before, it's the first time (defending a title), so it will be interesting on the first tee when we get there.

"We've talked about how we are going to approach the course and how different it's playing. It's way different compared to last year. The rough is up. It's difficult out of the rough now and I think that's a massive thing compared to last year.

"So we're thinking about some of the tee shots, how we are going to approach them now with the rough up."

Next year's biennial spectacular looms large over the week in Rome, with Højgaard and twin brother Rasmus tipped by many to be in the mix to make their Ryder Cup debuts.

"I would love to play, it's one of my biggest goals," he said. "But there's such a long way to it.

"From now until when we get to September next year, it's such a long way. So you just have to put your head down and get to work and then see where we are at when we get to September but I would love to play.

"The only approach you can take is do your work, do your best and then hopefully your good work will get you there.

"But you can't make a game-plan for it right now. You can't focus on it. It's just something that has to happen if you do a really good job, that's the approach to it, I think. Trying to forget a little bit about it and focus on what you should focus on and then hopefully it happens."

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