Grant Forrest edged out as Rasmus Hojgaard, 18, seals first Tour win

Rasmus Hojgaard won a three-way play-off to clinch the Mauritius Open title. Picture: Getty Images
Rasmus Hojgaard won a three-way play-off to clinch the Mauritius Open title. Picture: Getty Images
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Teenager Rasmus Hojgaard made an eagle on the third play-off hole to claim his first European Tour victory at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

The 18-year-old fired a closing 68 to finish on 19 under par alongside Italian Renato Paratore and Frenchman Antoine Rozner after 72 holes, with Scot Grant Forrest finishing a single shot out of the play-off.

Hojgaard had birdied the par-five last on days one and three and did it again yesterday to make it to extra holes, as Paratore also birdied his 72nd hole to join Rozner at 19 under.

Paratore saw his chances
ended as he found water on the first trip back up the last but Rozner and Hojgaard halved the hole twice in birdies before a second shot to 12 feet set up victory for the Dane at the third time of asking.

Hojgaard only turned professional earlier this year and was playing only his fifth European Tour event after becoming the first player born in the 21st century to make it through the Qualifying School.

He played alongside identical twin Nicolai at the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup and after seeing his brother finish second earlier this year at the KLM Open, Rasmus is now the third youngest winner in European Tour history after Italian Matteo Manassero and Kiwi Danny Lee.

“This is a dream come true,” he told europeantour.com. “It’s amazing. To be on the European Tour so early is a dream come true and to be a winner now, it’s incredible. I can’t put it into words. I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”

Forrest, who finished seventh in the same event last year, had been in a seven-way tie for the lead as he made birdies on the second, seventh, ninth, tenth, 12th and 14th but could not take advantage of the last and finished at 18-under alongside Belgian Thomas Detry, Frenchman Benjamin Hebert and South Africa’s Louis De Jager.

Fellow Scot Connor Syme finished joint ninth on 16 under after a 69, making it two top-15 finishes on the trot on his return to the European Tour after graduating from the Challenge Tour.

Calum Hill, who had started the final day sharing the lead, slipped to joint 17th after a closing 74 that started with a triple-bogey 7 and ended with back-to-back bogeys.

David Law (70) finished joint 43rd on eight under, one shot ahead of mentor Paul Lawrie (73).

l Matt Jones, Aaron Pike and World No 1 amateur Takumi Kanaya have secured their places in the 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s after qualifying at the Emirates Australian Open.

Playing his home course, Matt Jones recorded a one-shot victory on a 15-under-par total of 269 to secure his second Australian Open title after he also won at The Australian Golf Club in 2015.