Mauritius: Rasmus Hojgaard announced his arrival on the big stage when he sank an eagle putt on the third play-off hole to win the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
At 18, the Danish teenager secured his European Tour card at Qualifying School last month and his breakthrough at the Heritage Golf Club came in what was his fifth appearance on the European Tour.
It took a birdie on the 72nd hole for the Dane to force his way into a three-way play-off with Italian Renato Paratore and Frenchman Antoine Rozner after closing with a four-under-par 68 and a 19-under 269 total.
Hojgaard missed a 12-foot eagle putt for the title on his first trip back up the par-five 18th. With Parattore bowing out after hitting his ball into the water, it was left to Hojgaard and Rozner to battle it out for top honours.
Both made birdies on their second play-off hole but Hojgaard’s moment of glory came when he eagled the hole in his third attempt for an emotional triumph on the paradise Indian ocean island.
Hojgaard said: “I’m lost for words. It’s amazing and I’m over the moon. This is a dream come true for me. I just kept telling myself to believe in yourself and trust the number. I did what I could and it was enough for me to win.
“I was obviously nervous, playing in my first play-off but I was in a situation where I had nothing to lose. So I was confident. It was pretty cool to close out the 18th hole. My approach shots were all very good there and I just managed to do what I had to do. It’s cool to win so early in my career and it’s something just very amazing and I’m looking forward to the next challenge. I’m going to celebrate this victory when I get home to my family and friends.”
China’s Wu Ashun and Indian Jyoti Randhawa flew the Asian flag, finishing in a share of 13th and 17th place respectively at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open which was inaugurated in 2015.
It was the first tournament to be tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour and European Tour.