Nicolai Hojgaard finishes two forward of Ryder Cup team-mates Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland and in a single day chief Matt Wallace; Jon Rahm shares fifth place as Race to Dubai champion Rory McIlroy ends week in tied-Twenty second
By Ali Stafford
Final Up to date: 19/11/23 12:48pm
Nicolai Hojgaard produced a sensational back-nine birdie run to carry off Ryder Cup team-mates Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland and declare a dramatic victory on the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Hojgaard overturned a three-stroke deficit throughout an exhilarating closing spherical at Jumeirah Golf Estates, the place he fired 5 consecutive birdies from the thirteenth to card an eight-under 64 and set the clubhouse goal at 21 underneath.
The birdie burst pulled the 22-year-old forward of Hovland, Fleetwood and in a single day chief Matt Wallace, who all required a final-hole eagle to match the Dane’s complete and drive a play-off.
Tommy Fleetwood climbed into the early lead after a surprising birdie-eagle begin to his closing spherical
Hovland may solely scramble a closing par after discovering the hazard together with his method into the par-five final and Wallace discovered water off the tee, with Hojgaard’s third DP World Tour victory confirmed when Fleetwood was unable to gap his third shot from the green.
The chasing trio all carded closing pars to finish the week in tied-second on 19 underneath, with defending champion Jon Rahm sharing fifth after a final-round 66 and Race to Dubai winner Rory McIlroy signing off his season in tied-Twenty second after a two-under 70.
Rory McIlroy produced a surprising 70-foot birdie throughout his closing spherical in Dubai
How Hojgaard prevailed in epic finale
Fleetwood began the day one adrift however instantly jumped two clear when he adopted an eight-foot birdie on the first by pouring in from 40 ft to eagle the par-five subsequent, as Hovland cancelled out a birdie on the second with a bogey on the subsequent to fall three behind.
The Englishman didn’t stand up and down from the sand to save lots of par on the fourth, permitting Hojgaard – the midway chief – to get inside one when he additionally picked up a shot on the second and fired back-to-back positive factors from the fifth.
Wallace ended a run of pars with a 40-foot birdie on the sixth to drag stage with Fleetwood however bogeyed the subsequent after a wayward drive resulted in a penalty drop, whereas Hovland rolled in from 15 ft on the fifth and posted successive birdies from the seventh to edge into the solo lead on 18 underneath.
Matt Wallace made an enormous birdie on the sixth gap to briefly transfer right into a share of the lead
Hovland misplaced his outright benefit with a bogey on the ninth, with Hojgaard briefly restoring a three-way tie after he adopted a front-nine 33 with a birdie to start out his again 9, then Fleetwood made a close-range birdie on the tenth to reclaim high spot.
Fleetwood left himself an analogous birdie on the eleventh to double his benefit, however Hojgaard charged again into competition when he cancelled out a dropped shot on the twelfth by changing from eight ft on the thirteenth and two-putting from 35 ft so as to add one other birdie on the par-five subsequent.
Rahm bolstered his hopes of a historic fourth DP World Tour Championship win when he made three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the seventh and registered three in a row from the thirteenth, taking him to inside two strokes, as Hovland added to his birdie tally on the 14th to get inside one.
Hojgaard continued his birdie streak over the subsequent two holes and added one other from 4 ft on the par-three seventeenth, his fifth in a row, to revive his one-shot lead after Fleetwood had briefly levelled by slotting in from 15 ft on the fifteenth.
Joost Luiten misplaced his driver up a tree after which misplaced two extra golf equipment attempting to retrieve it through the closing day
Hovland saved his hopes alive with birdies on the 14th and sixteenth as Wallace additionally impressed late on with three birdies in a four-hole stretch, together with from 30 ft on the par-three seventeenth as Fleetwood three-putted for bogey.
Hojgaard gave hope to the sector with a close-range birdie miss on the final, leaving the chasing trio requiring a final-hole eagle to drive a play-off, however all three may solely end with a par as they completed two again.
Rahm shared fifth spot on 17 underneath alongside Mathieu Pavon – who birdied his final 4 holes – and Thriston Lawrence, who claimed a three-birdie end, with Victor Perez an additional stroke again in eighth after 5 birdies in his final eight holes.
Hojgaard happy with ‘unbelievable win’
Hojgaard’s victory is his first on the DP World Tour since February 2022 and is ready to maneuver him contained in the world’s high 50, whereas additionally seeing him finish the marketing campaign second within the season-long Race to Dubai standings.
Nicolai Hojgaard was visibly emotional after a final-round 64 noticed him declare the DP World Tour Championship
“It is the sweetest one and a lot arduous work has been put within the final couple of years – and this yr has been a extremely good yr,” Hojgaard stated. “I felt like the one factor that was lacking was a win and to get it this week on this discipline is unbelievable. I am unable to imagine it is simply occurred.
“Having that putt on 18 to shut it out and it slips by, I felt prefer it was fairly a troublesome second for me really. I used to be like, ‘Did it simply slip away? Do we’ve to go in a play-off?’ However we regrouped and took it a bit simple. This feels superb.
“I’ve to say that is in all probability the most effective golf I’ve performed in a match as a result of that is the strongest discipline in my three wins. I am positively going to get pleasure from this.”
Rory McIlroy believes he nonetheless has a lot extra to supply and targets extra profession Race to Dubai titles to catch these set by the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie
There’s lower than 96 hours between the 2023 Race to Dubai season ending and the 2024 marketing campaign beginning, with co-sanctioned occasions in each Australia and South Africa reside on Sky Sports activities.
The Fortinet Australian PGA Championship is reside on Thursday from 1.30am on Sky Sports activities Golf, with the Joburg Open then on from 10am. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour and extra with NOW.
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