Big finish hands Nicolai Højgaard halfway lead in Dubai


Nicolai Højgaard will take a two-shot lead into the weekend at the DP World Tour Championship after a stunning finish to his second round at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The Dane arrived at the Earth Course on day two in a share of the lead but back-to-back bogeys saw him stumble and he was still a long way behind despite fighting back to turn in level par.

A birdie on the tenth signalled the start of better things, though, and he added two more before finishing birdie-eagle to come home in 30 and sign for a 66 that left him at 11 under.

His Ryder Cup team-mates Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland were in the group in second after rounds of 66 alongside South Africa's Thriston Lawrence - who fired the round of the day with a 64 - and Swede Jens Dantorp and Frenchman Antione Rozner, who both signed for 67s.

Højgaard may not have a win in the 2023 season but he has eight top tens - including a runner-up finish at last week's Nedbank Golf Challenge - with three top fives in his last four DP World Tour starts.

The 22-year-old also has a runner-up finish on the PGA TOUR, with his form earning him a Captain's Pick from Luke Donald for Europe's thumping victory over the United States last month.

He finished in a tie for fourth in his only previous appearance at this event in 2021 and is now in pole position for a first Rolex Series victory to cap off a stunning season.

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