The Hoggard Twin: Identity Mistakes, History Made



CNN

When Nikolai Hoggard landed in Rome for Italian Open Championship Last September, he found himself perplexed by the crowd congratulating him on his victory in the European Masters in Switzerland A week ago.

A series of loud jokes and fist bruises painted an instructive scene, however there was one small problem with the picture: Nikolai never won the DP World Tour.

In fact, after he took some time off, the event did not play in Crans-sur-Sierre The last week. But his brother Rasmus played very well, winning with one blow.

Welcome to life on a tour like Identical Højgaard Twinsthe 21-year-old Danish golf rising star.

“A lot of people can’t tell us apart, so maybe 50 people came to him…that was hard for him,” Rasmus told CNN reporter Jasmine Saunders, AKA The Jazzy Golfer.

Højgaard wore matching outfits at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October.

Days later, congratulations again flowed to Nikolai, but this time there was no case of misidentification.

Playing via a last-minute invite to the event, a one-stroke victory at Marco Simone Golf Club earned him his first European Tour victory and wrote Højgaard’s name into the history books as the first brothers to win a consecutive tour.

“It’s amazing that we didn’t notice it right away until we were actually asked questions,” Nikolai said of the achievement.

“It’s a special achievement and we hope we can do it again in the future.”

Did the fiasco set the fire under Nikolai’s leadership ahead of the tournament? His twin, who ranked 18th in Rome, thinks it certainly happened.

“One hundred percent,” said Rasmus, “I’ll use it as fuel too.”

“I think he was definitely excited, he really wanted to get that win… and then we shared that together.”

The brothers embrace after Nikolai's victory at the Italian Open.

With Rasmus already winning twice with a tour under his belt, at the Mauritius Open and the UK Championships, Nikolai had the added motivation of making up for his twins.

While Rasmus was clinching his second win in August 2020, Nikolai had been struggling with a tough campaign that kept him within 16th place all season.

After claiming his second round title at the Ras Al Khaimah UAE Championship in February, Nikolai still trails Rasmus with one win, but he is, unbelievably, only one place in the world rankings above his brother at number 119. The duo are the highest-grossing Danish golfers rating. , with Marcus Heiligkeld and Thorbjorn Olsen, the only other two nationals in the top 200.

“He got them [wins] “Very fast and we had some good competition, so it was nice to get a couple back on him,” Nikolai said.

Nikolai celebrated his first tour win at the Italian Open.

However, while they share a healthy rivalry, it’s the emotional support that forms the heart of the duo’s touring relationship. Whether it’s with a practice partner or just having someone to dine with, Højgaards make the most of their closeness.

“Obviously we knew at some point that we were going to go different ways but for now we are still on the same path so we can travel together,” Rasmus said.

“We share each other’s experience from winning and difficult moments. I learned a lot from Nikolai because he was struggling a little bit in 2020 while I was playing very well. I knew that was difficult for him, but he got over that and we talked a lot about him.

“There’s definitely a lot to take away from that, and it’s nice to share all the good and tough moments together.”

Rasmus poses with the trophy after winning the European Masters Championship at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.

With four events to play until the November season finale tournament in Dubai, Nikolai is looking to join his twins on three wins, while Rasmus is hoping to display the form needed to secure one of the 10 PGA Tour cards to be had next year.

However, the two brothers unite in a common goal: to play the 2023 Ryder Cup.

After being postponed two years ago due to the pandemic, the famous biennial competition returns next September at a venue so fond of Hoggard’s twins, Marco Simone’s club in Rome.

The twins set their sights on next year's Ryder Cup.

And with Danish golf icon Thomas Bjorn, 15-time European Tour champion, vice-captain of Team Europe, the twins are eager to make the 12-player team. Six players qualify automatically via the ranking points system, while Captain Luke Donald chooses the remaining half.

“There is a long way to go and there is a lot of golf to play, so it is easy to move forward (but) there is a lot of work to be done,” Nikolai said.

“I think I have a good chance if I keep focusing on the right things and doing the right work, so it’s definitely a big goal for me.”

“Especially after Thomas was deputy captain,” Rasmus added. “Nick and I are on good terms with him, obviously he wants us on the team as well.

“It would be a great experience to share with Nikolai as well, maybe play a quad together.”

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