Højgaard shoots 63 to win European Masters by 1 stroke

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (AP) — Rasmus Højgaard shot a 7-under 63 to win the European Masters on Sunday by one stroke from Bernd Wiesberger, who made double bogey at the 18th after hitting into green-side water.

Wiesberger, who is on the fringes of selection for Europe’s Ryder Cup team next month, hit his tee shot at the par-4 18th into a bunker then found water with his second shot.

The Austrian player took a six and carded a 65 to fall into second place in the tournament at the high-altitude Crans-sur-Sierre club.

The 20-year-old Højgaard’s late charge had left him leading in the clubhouse on a 13-under total of 267 that held up for his third victory on the European Tour.

“At the moment it’s a bit surreal. I didn’t expect to be in this position but it’s amazing,” he said.

Højgaard’s round of five birdies and one eagle-3 on the 14th included playing the last six holes in 5-under par. He made a mid-range birdie putt at the 18th that proved decisive.

Henrik Stenson also shot a clean round of 63, with seven birdies in the sun-bathed Swiss Alps to move up to third place at 11 under.

Playing in the final group, morning co-leaders Sean Crocker (70) and Renato Paratore (71) finished in ties for fourth and seventh, respectively, after starting at 10 under.

Højgaard now has a victory in each of his three years as a professional. He won the Mauritius Open in December 2019 and the UK Championship exactly one year ago.

The winner’s check was for 333,333 euros ($393,000) from a 2 million euros ($2.36 million) prize fund at the tournament which was canceled in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic

“It’s so nice to have the crowds back to cheer you on,” Højgaard said, acknowledging feeling nervous standing over the winning putt. “That was a great moment.”

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