Elvira, Hojgaard lead after low-scoring second round in Ras Al Khaimah Championship

Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen equals the course record at Al Hamra Golf Club with a ten under 62

By Nick Tarratt, Khaleej Times Guest Golf Writer

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Rasmus Hojgaard tied at the top of the leaderboard after 36-holes of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship on the DP World Tour.= Supplied photo
Rasmus Hojgaard tied at the top of the leaderboard after 36-holes of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship on the DP World Tour.= Supplied photo

Published: Fri 26 Jan 2024, 7:08 PM

Manuel Elvira and Rasmus Højgaard share the lead at the halfway stage of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship after a low-scoring day at Al Hamra Golf Club.

Elvira started the second round six strokes off the pace but carded eight birdies and an eagle to sign for a course record-equalling ten under par 62, setting the clubhouse target of 14 under par after 36-holes.

The Spaniard, who graduated from the European Challenge Tour after finishing third on last year’s Road to Mallorca Rankings, is looking to follow in older brother Nacho’s footsteps in becoming a DP World Tour winner.

Højgaard, who is aiming to emulate his twin brother Nicolai’s Ras Al Khaimah Championship victory in 2022, carded an eight under par 64 to move into a share of the lead in a bid for a fifth DP World Tour victory.

One stroke further back are Denmark’s Thorbjørn Olesen, who also equalled the course record with a ten under 62, and 18-hole leader Callum Shinkwin, of England, on 13 under par.

South Africa’s Zander Lombard is one stroke further back on 12 under after he carded a second successive round of 66 to move into fifth place.

Elvira said, “I got off to the dream start. I was six under through five, birdied the first three and then eagled the fourth and birdied the fifth. After that it was just a case of keep going. I kept giving myself chances and got a 62 at the end so very happy with it.

“Obviously playing Challenge Tour last year was a great experience and preparation for the main Tour. It is really competitive every week. I was lucky to be in contention a lot last year so I feel like am prepared to perform here so we will see what happens on the weekend.

“I try not to worry too much. I just want to go out there, have fun, enjoy it and keep the same strategy as the last couple of days.” Højgaard commented after his round,

“I think it was really good today. Started off with a bit of a bad tee shot on the second hole, but since then I hit decent drives off the tee and put myself in good positions. I rolled the putter very well today… again. I’m very happy with a 64.

“(Nicolai and I) do text a little bit. I did send him a “good job” text this morning when I saw that he will be going out in the final group tomorrow. He’s playing well and I’m playing well, it’s cool to follow each other’s different paths,” he added.

The leading UAE player is Joshua Grenville-Wood on nine under par after rounds of 67 and 68 in tied 13th place.

Leading Second Round Scores

(7,410 Yards, Par 72).

R. Hojgaard (Den) 66. 64. 130.

M. Elvira (Spain) 68. 62. 130.

T. Oleson (Den) 69. 62. 131.

C. Shinkwin (Eng) 62. 69. 131.

Z. Lombard (RSA) 66. 66. 132.

F. Zanotti (Par) 68. 65. 133.

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