Danish twins lead country to World Am Team win, U.S. 1 short
Danish team: Rasmus Hojgaard, John Axelsen, captain Torben Henriksen, Nicolai Hojgaard
Danish team: Rasmus Hojgaard, John Axelsen, captain Torben Henriksen, Nicolai Hojgaard

DUBLIN, Ireland (Sept. 8, 2018) – Denmark managed to hold off a surging U.S. team in the final round of the World Amateur Team Championship thanks to a stellar one-two punch from a pair of twin brothers. Nicolai and Rasmus Hojgaard returned final-round scores of 7-under 66 and 6-under 67, respectively, at the O’Meara Course to keep Denmark one shot ahead of the U.S.

This marked Denmark’s 25th start in the Eisenhower Trophy race. The Danes claimed the silver medal in 2010, something six-time Danish captain Torben Nyehuus remembers well.

“It means a lot,” Nyehuus said. “Everybody is watching. It’s just amazing. I was with the team in 2010 when we came in second, so this is just amazing. It’s pretty nice to go one better.”

The Hojgaards are well-known names in European golf, having both played in last week’s European Tour event, Made in Denmark. Nicolai won the 2018 European Amateur and played in the Open Championship (missing the cut) while Rasmus led Denmark to victory in the boys division of the Junior World Golf Cup in Japan earlier this year.

“I am speechless to be honest!” Rasmus said. “After the first nine holes today, we didn’t expect us to shoot 7 and 6 under. We just tried to give ourselves chances on the back nine and holed some good putts. It is amazing to have my twin brother on the team as well. We have played alongside each other for 10 years and we keep helping each other, so that’s great.”

Teammate John Axelsen posted a non-counting 4-under 69, but relished the opportunity to compete for Denmark. His 8-under 64 on the Montgomerie Course led the Danes on Day 1.

“I remember being at the opening ceremony and we stood there and talked, and I turned around to Nicolai and said ‘Yo, Nicolai I have a very good feeling about this World Am,’” he said. “These guys just play so well, and I played well the first two days and they just played really well the last two days. It’s a team event and that really showed.”

The U.S. team started the week slowly, and were T-19, eight shots off the pace after 18 holes. They slowly fought back, but couldn’t keep up with Denmark.

The U.S. used strong finishing rounds by Cole Hammer, University of Texas freshman and 2018 U.S. Amateur semifinalist Cole Hammer, and Justin Suh, University of Southern California senior, to pass Spain for the silver medal at 38-under-par 542. Hammer had 7-under 66 and Suh 4-under 69.

“It says a lot,” Hammer said. “It speaks a lot to the way our team jelled and how much fun we had together. When you are having fun playing golf, good things happen. To medal in my first international competition, especially on a stage as big as this, is really special.”

Spain took the bronze medal at 36-under 544. New Zealand, which had the 36- and 54-hole lead, was fourth at 545, followed by Norway, Italy and Thailand tied for fifth at 548; England in eighth at 549, Canada in ninth at 550 and host Ireland and Germany tied for 10th at 553.

Although there is no official recognition, Spain’s Alejandro “Alex” Del Rey was the low individual scorer at 23-under 267. He and England’s Matthew Jordan shot the low scores in the fourth round at 8-under 65.

ABOUT THE Men's World Amateur Team

In 1958 the United States Golf Association asked The R&A to join them in sponsoring a world-wide amateur golf team event to be played biennially in non-Walker Cup years. Between 35 and 40 nations were represented at the first meeting and President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the trophy which bears his name. The committee of the event was to be known as the World Amateur Golf Council and is now the International Golf Federation. Teams of four players from each country competed over 72 holes with the leading three scores from each round to count. The first competition was held between 29 nations at St Andrews, with Australia beating the United States in a play-off. In 2002 the format changed to teams of three with the two leading scores to count.

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