Masters rookie shares the 1 thing to do when striking it poorly

Pro golfer Nicolai Hojgaard at 2024 Masters

After a tough Round 2 at the Masters, Nicolai Hojgaard shared the way he continues to grind.

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What a Masters debut its been for Nicolai Hojgaard, who finds himself sitting near the top of the leaderboard on Friday afternoon.

Despite the strong start for the 23-year-old Dane, he’ll be the first to tell you that Friday was much more of a grind than Thursday was, with his 73 falling short of his expectations. Still, shooting one over at Augusta is nothing to pout about — especially given the windy conditions, which has played a major role in impacting scores all day.

Hojgaard knows this, and he isn’t being too hard on himself as he looks toward the weekend.

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“It’s really, really tricky. Wind is swirling. It’s gusting. There’s some tough shots on the back nine. Front nine is tricky as well,” he said following his second round on Friday.

“I felt like I managed my game really well today, even though I didn’t strike it properly. I felt like I was a bit all over the place, but kind of putted myself around, which was quite good to see — so, yeah, I’m looking forward to the next two days.”

As he should, considering he’s just a few shots back of the leaders at the moment.

“There’s plenty of chances out there even though it’s windy,” he added. “You’ve got to play on the fat side all the time. You’ve got to use the slopes and the greens. I just managed to make a couple mistakes in the end, which I feel like it’s very, very expensive at the moment.”

Hojgaard had to grind through a difficult weather day, and after admitting his ball-striking wasn’t up to his expectations, offered a good piece of instruction when addressing it.

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When asked about the adjustments he needs to make to get his ball around, Hojgaard said the following.

“[I keep] a really good mind. Just in general, patience. Be really calm, even though you’re hitting bad shots that aren’t necessarily that bad,” he advises. “I don’t feel like I hit a bad shot on the last two holes. Maybe the tee on 17, but the second shot felt decent, and I ended up in a really bad spot. That’s part of it.”

Despite the difficult Friday, Hojgaard knows what’s in front of him — and is enjoying the thrill of competing in his first-ever Masters — as he looks to become the first Masters rookie to win the green jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller did so in 1979.

“It feels good and I’m enjoying the challenge,” he said. “There’s a lot to look forward to on the weekend.”

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