Nicolai Hojgaard Replaces Twin Brother Rasmus In Hero Cup

The 21-year-old gets his chance to impress Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald after his brother withdraws through injury

Nicolai Hojgaard takes a shot during the 2022 ISPS HANDA Australian Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The inaugural Hero Cup takes place at Abu Dhabi Golf Club later in the week, as Team Europe Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald uses the tournament to cast his eye over potential team members for September’s biennial event against Team USA.

However, just days before the match play tournament between Great Britain and Ireland and Continental Europe gets under way, Dane Rasmus Hojgaard has withdrawn from Franceso Molinari’s Continental Europe team due to injury. That has left the door open for his twin brother Nicolai to replace him.

Rasmus has enjoyed a successful start to his professional career. The 21-year-old has three wins on the DP World Tour, most recently in the 2021 Omega European Masters. However, he won't be able to build on those successes this week. A statement released by the DP World Tour, although not elaborating on the nature of the World No.102's injury, confirmed his twin will replace him. It read: "Rasmus Hojgaard has withdrawn from the Hero World Cup at Abu Dhabi Golf Club due to injury. He has been replaced by Nicolai Hojgaard in the Continental Europe team to compete from January 13-15."

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Nicolai is currently ranked below Rasmus at World No.135 and has one fewer DP World Tour win than his brother. Nevertheless, he has enjoyed more recent success, with both his victories coming in the last 16 months – September 2021’s Italian Open and the Ras Al Khaimah Championship last February. 

Interestingly, the first of those wins occurred at the venue for the 2023 Ryder Cup, Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome. On that occasion, he edged out Hero Cup Great Britain and Ireland captain Tommy Fleetwood and his Continental Europe teammate Adrian Meronk. He beat another Hero Cup player, Englishman Jordan Smith, in his most recent victory.

The tournament is being used to offer match play action to both players with Ryder Cup experience and rookies. Nicolai will be eager to take advantage of his twin brother’s misfortune and showcase his abilities to Donald as he continues his preparations to try and lead Team Europe to victory for the first time since 2018. 

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.