Sunday 19 November 2023, Dubai, UAE
Nicolai Højgaard won his first Rolex Series title as a back-nine birdie barrage saw him sign for a closing 64 and a two-shot victory at the DP World Tour Championship. The Dane had led after days one and two at Jumeirah Golf Estates but entered the final round three shots off the pace before pulling himself right into contention with a front nine of 33.
He was back on top with a gain on the tenth and then reeled off five birdies in a row from the 13th to get to 21 under and hold off the challenge of his Ryder Cup team-mates Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland and overnight leader Matt Wallace. Fleetwood and Hovland signed for a pair of 68s, one shot less than Wallace, to sit two ahead of defending champion Jon Rahm, South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon.
“It means a lot, it’s the sweetest one,” Højgaard said. “So much hard work has been put in over the past couple of years – it feels amazing, this is for family and everything they put in over the years. So much hard work going into this, for it to happen like this is unbelievable.
“I played some really good golf. I have to say this is the best golf I’ve played in a tournament and the strongest field in my three wins. My game feels good, I felt good before going out and to finish it like this feels good. This is the sweetest way to finish the year, I cant believe we finished on such a high note. I’m definitely going to enjoy this,” he added.
His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum leads trophy presentation
His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, presented Højgaard with the DP World Tour Championship trophy, before awarding Rory McIlroy the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex trophy – the fifth time the Northern Irishman has won the title. He also presented G4D professional Mike Browne with the G4D Tour Finale trophy, following his victory on the Earth course on Saturday.
His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum was joined in the prize presentation party by His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council; His Excellency Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation; Abdullah bin Damithan, Chief Executive and Managing Director of DP World GCC; Laurent Delaney, Head of Global Sponsorship at Rolex; Eric Nicoli, Chairman of the European Tour group; and Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour.
Sporting and music royalty enjoy action-packed last day
The thrilling action of the final day at the Earth course proved a draw for household names from across the sport and music worlds, with ex-Chelsea and Nigeria football legend Mikel John Obi, New Zealand cricketers Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra and Ish Sodhi, and Leon “Locksmith” Rolle from multiple award-winning British drum and bass band Rudimental in attendance.
DP World Chief Communications Officer applauds 15th anniversary success
Danny Van Otterdijk, Chief Communications Officer at DP World, praised the success of this week’s DP World Tour Championship and DP World’s now 15-year association with the event. “It’s been a hugely successful week for DP World and the DP World Tour”, he said. “We’re extremely proud of our 15-year association with the DP World Tour Championship, a tournament that has played a significant part in putting Dubai firmly at the centre of the sporting world. Thanks to all the partners and volunteers that have helped to make the event a great success. A huge congratulations to Rory McIlroy on an incredible season, winning the Race to Dubai Ranking and Nicolai Højgaard on a fantastic tournament.”
With normal sunny service resumed on the weather front, Family Day marked a fun and fitting conclusion to this year’s DP World Tour Championship. Spectators in the Championship Village were wowed by magic tricks, live music and even a singing princess. Other activities included drumming workshops, a circus show, face painting, balloon bending, plant potting and a bubble show to keep the kids (and adults!) entertained. X-Factor contestant and Lewis Capaldi support artist Garry Greig rounded out this year’s entertainment on the main stage.