Denmark’s Rasmus Højgaard has made a dream start to this week’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, firing a six under par 66 to share the early lead.
But how did the 18-year-old make it to the European Tour?
Here’s a breakdown of the young Dane’s career to date…
Part of a golfing family
Rasmus Højgaard is not the only golfer in his family as identical twin brother Nicolai is also an exciting young player. The pair have shone on the amateur stage with Rasmus winning the 2018 Toyota Junior World Cup, while his brother Nicolai reached Number Five in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. The twins also made history in the prestigious Eisenhower Trophy, where alongside John Axelsen, they led Denmark to a first World Amateur Team Championship title. Their potential is there to see, with even 2018 Ryder Cup winning Captain Thomas Bjørn calling out his fellow Danes as ones to watch in the future, with both players turning professional earlier this year.
Brotherly love at The Junior Ryder Cup
The Højgaard brothers also both represented Europe in The 2018 Junior Ryder Cup. They even played together on the first morning as they halved their Foursomes match against Akshay Bhatia and Michael Thorbjornsen. Rasmus would go on to secure a resounding 5&4 victory in the Mixed Fourballs too, partnering Italy’s Emilie Alba-Paltrinieri to defat an American duo of Bhatia and Yealimi Noh. Further success followed in Tuesday’s Singles where Rasmus beat William Moll 1UP to claim an impressive 2 ½ points in the narrow defeat against Team USA at Disneyland Golf.
Challenge Tour pedigree
After playing a starring role in The Junior Ryder Cup, Rasmus joined the paid ranks and started competing on the European Challenge Tour. To say he hit the ground running is an understatement, with the teenager sharing second place in his first start, at the Challenge de España. Following that performance, the young Dane would notch up another five top ten finishes to end his debut season as a professional in 21st place in the Challenge Tour Rankings.
Making history at Q-School
Buoyed by an excellent campaign, Rasmus travelled from the Challenge Tour Grand Final to the Final Stage of European Tour Qualifying School. Despite opening with a two over par 73, Rasmus would sign for four sub-70 rounds out of his next five to finish fifth and earn a European Tour card. In doing so Rasmus wrote his name into the history books by becoming the first player born in the 2000s to graduate from Q-School.