Two of the biggest names in golf have joined the growing chorus of pundits tipping the Hojgaard twins – Nicolai and Rasmus – to reach the very top of the game.
Masters winner Adam Scott played alongside Nicolai in the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, while Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter was in the same group as Rasmus. Both were hugely impressed.
The 20-year-old Danish twins have been hailed as the future of European golf – both have cracked the top 100 of the world rankings, with Italian open winner Nicolai currently leading the way, even though Rasmus has posted DP World Tour victories in each of the last three years.
Both made solid rather than spectacular starts in Abu Dhabi, with Nicolal’s three-under-par 69 a shot better than his brother’s opening effort. But that was more than enough to get Scott and Poulter singing their praises.
Poulter said: “Nicolai is supposed to be a bit longer off the tee than Rasmus, which is frightening – because Rasmus was knocking it 60 yards past me off the tee, without looking like he was straining at all.
“It’s not the first time I’ve seen Rasmus close up, and I’ve always been massively impressed by him, and his brother. Rasmus has won three times already at the age of 20. That’s just unreal as far as I’m concerned. They’ve both got such incredible natural talent, in the Sergio and Rory mould.
“I’m on my tiptoes trying to get an extra few yards of run and he’s hitting it into another zip code. This young generation of golfers seems to have built up that extra element of power, but these two have also got great temperaments too.
“They just need to grow into the steady consistent golfers we know they can be, and along with the likes of Viktor Hovland they will be the backbone of the European tema for years to come.”
Scott admitted he was ‘only’ conceding about 30 yards off the tee to Nicolai as the Dane’s driving prowess caught the eye of the 2013 Masters champion. After one round up close, the Australian thinks Nicolai has what it takes to reach the very top of the game.
He said: “I was really impressed, I have to say. I was saying to my caddie, it’s been a while since I have played with a young kid who made me sit back and take notice. His speed is incredible. If he figures out a short game, the sky’s the limit. Obviously he has a pretty good one but if he takes it to top-of-the-world level, there’s nothing stopping a kid like that.
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“It’s phenomenal to watch, his easy speed is amazing. I am surprised there hasn’t been more media or murmurings about him in the US. I look at a kid like that and hope he works on the right things, gets the right advice and can go on because he has incredible talent. There’s nothing stopping him from being one of the best players in the world.
“He has all the attributes you would want aged 20. I would just tell him to become a great wedge player because he is never going to lose that hitting ability. Dustin Johnson worked really hard on his wedges and became a machine out on tour.
“It looks like Dustin playing, to me.”
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