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Højgaard enjoying the hunt in Mauritius
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Højgaard enjoying the hunt in Mauritius

Rasmus Højgaard may be playing just his fifth European Tour event but the 18-year-old is not fazed by going for a first victory at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritus Open.

Søren Kjeldsen and Rasmus Højgaard

The Dane is used to playing on the big stage having won the Eisenhower Trophy and played in the Junior Ryder Cup alongside identical twin brother Nicolai in 2018.

Nicolai announced himself on the European Tour last season as he finished second to Sergio Garcia at the KLM Open but after coming through the Qualifying School, the 2020 Race to Dubai could be Rasmus' time to shine.

After rounds of 66-69-66, he heads into the final round at Heritage Golf Club just a shot off the lead but he is not overawed by his lofty position.

"I've been striking the ball well, some putts and some wedges most of the time," he said. "Definitely looking good. It's possible I could give myself some more chances and take advantage of some of them tomorrow.

It's been a while since I've been in contention for a tournament so I'm looking forward to the nerves and the adrenaline

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It's been a while since I've been in contention for a tournament so I'm looking forward to the nerves and the adrenaline."

A victory on Sunday would see Højgaard become the fastest Dane to claim a European Tour victory, beating Thomas Bjørn's record of 24 events.

On Saturday he played alongside another great Dane in Søren Kjeldsen, a man who was playing his fourth season on Tour the year Højgaard was born.

"I always watched Søren on TV when I was a kid," he said. "It was definitely fun playing with him and it's just nice to speak Danish once in a while when you are playing.

Sihwan Kim

"We're competitors, we both need to focus on ourselves and play as good as we can. I'm trying to do that."

Fellow Q School graduate Sihwan Kim was alongside Højgaard at 15 under and he is looking to improve his form off the tee as he too seeks a maiden European Tour victory.

"I played well today," said the American. "Stayed patient and made some pretty good putts in the middle of my round which got me going. 

"I’ve been bad off the tee the whole week but I putted really well. I got the speed right and that has been the key."