Nicolai Hojgaard wins DP World Tour Championship as brother Rasmus misses PGA Tour card
In a slightly awkward twist of fate, Sunday was bittersweet for the Hojgaard twins.
First the sweet, which is sure to outweigh the bitter of the family. Nicolai Hojgaard made five consecutive birdies on the back nine at Jumeirah Golf Estates to come from behind and defeat Viktor Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Wallace to win the DP World Tour Championship.
It’s the third and by far the biggest title of the Dane’s DP World Tour career and comes just less than two months after his 0-2-1 debut performance in Team Europe’s win at the Ryder Cup.
Wallace started the day in the lead with the heavyweight duo of Hovland and Fleetwood and the three traded the lead early in the round. But then Nicolai’s birdie blitz forced all three in the final pairing to eagle to the last to force a playoff.
All three could only manage par to finish in a three-way tie for second.
The win means Nicolai finishes No. 2 in the Race to Dubai standings. Rory McIlroy had already clinched his fifth order of merit win last week after the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
It was also one of the last events for Nicolai before he accepts full PGA Tour membership for next season. The 22-year-old became a special temporary PGA Tour member earlier this season and accumulated the necessary number of non-member FedEx Cup points to earn full status for next season.
However, his twin brother, Rasmus, won’t be joining him on the American Tour next season.
Rasmus came into the week 16th in the Race to Dubai rankings, important because this is the first year in which the top 10 players in the Race to Dubai final standings, not otherwise exempt, earn 2024 PGA Tour cards. With four PGA Tour members and two players set to earn status via other means (including Nicolai), Rasums was in position to earn the 10th and final card.
However, Frenchman Matthieu Pavon birdied his final four holes Sunday to finish T5 in Dubai and jump up 5 spots to 15th in the final standings, bumping Rasmus, who finished T11, out of a card.
Hojgaard will have to start from scratch next season to earn PGA Tour status as there is no exemption to next month’s final stage of PGA Tour Q-School for DP World Tour members.