Rasmus Højgaard tops UK Swing Order of Merit following UK Championship triumph

Rasmus Højgaard became only the second teenager to win twice on the European Tour after edging out Justin Walters in a play-off for the 2020 ISPS HANDA UK Championship.

On a dramatic final day at The Belfry, the 19-year-old from Denmark came from five strokes back to finish level with Walters on 14 under par.

When the contest went to extra holes, Højgaard held his nerve with consecutive pars down the 18th, with his South African opponent making a bogey on the second trip back down the last.

Højgaard became the first player born in the 21st century to come through Qualifying School last year and won his first European Tour title in just his fifth start – also in a play-off – at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Italian Matteo Manassero is the only other player to have captured two titles before turning 20.

After reaching the turn in 33, Højgaard dropped his first shot of the day on the 12th. That appeared to leave Walters and two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer battling for the title, but in a remarkable finish Højgaard birdied the 14th and 16th and eagled the par five 17th to complete a round of 65.

“It feels good. I didn’t really expect it,” said the Dane. “I started five shots back, so I was just trying to score as low and possible and see where I ended up. Ended in a play-off and win as well, so I was very happy.

“I had a good amateur career and achieved a few things there. I learnt how to be in contention and manage myself, and have brought that along to my professional career, and it has been working so far which has been awesome.”

Kaymer finished in a tie for third place alongside Benjamin Hebert of France on 13 under par, with a bogey on 17 denying him a place in the play-off. Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Craig Howie of Scotland were then at 12 under par, with England’s Marcus Armitage and Spaniard Jorge Campillo a shot further back.

With three UK Swing top tens in addition to his victory at The Belfry, Højgaard tops the Mini Order of Merit and receives an additional £60,000 to donate to charity, with the Childhood Cancer Foundation and Ronald McDonald House in Denmark his nominated charities.

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