Nicolai Hojgaard claimed DP World Tour Championship glory with a superb final-round 64 on a thrilling last day in Dubai.
Hojgaard headed into Sunday’s action at Jumeirah Golf Estates three shots off leader Matt Wallace, but five straight birdies on the back nine saw him storm into the lead.
The 22-year-old set the clubhouse target at 21 under par, meaning Viktor Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood and Wallace all needed an eagle at the 18th to force a play-off.
But Hojgaard held on despite the trio’s best efforts, eventually winning by two strokes to clinch his third win on the DP World Tour and seal the best moment of his young career.
Hojgaard spoke of his delight after victory was confirmed, though he also conceded he was relieved having missed a putt at the 18th, telling Sky Sports: “It means a lot. It’s the sweetest one and so much hard work has been put in the last couple of years and this year has been a really good year.
Nicolai Højgaard wins the DP World Tour Championship 🏆
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) November 19, 2023
“Having that putt on 18 to close it out and it slips by, I felt like it was quite a tough moment for me actually. I was like, ‘did it just slip away?’ But we regrouped and took it a bit easy.
“I have to say this is probably the best golf I’ve played in a tournament because this is the strongest field in my three wins. I’m definitely going to enjoy this.”
Defending champion Jon Rahm finished joint-fifth with a final-round 66, while Rasmus Hojgaard, twin brother of Nicolai, was tied for 11th with the likes of Tyrell Hatton and Romain Langasque.
Rory McIlroy, having already secured the Race to Dubai title by leading the season standings, wrapped up the campaign with a joint-22nd finish at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Despite topping the DP World Tour rankings for a second straight year, the major victory again eluded McIlroy in 2023, whose last such win came back in 2014.
He is desperate to end that barren run, saying: “It’s been a good last couple of years, but I want to kick on now and try to win more majors and that’s where my focus is and we keep going forward.”