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Teenager wins tense play-off to take tour title

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By Reuters
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BELLEOMBRE, Mauritius (Reuters) – Danish teenager Rasmus Hojgaard gave a nerveless display in a tense sudden-death playoff on Sunday to win the Mauritius Open in a three-man shootout.

He made eagle on the third playoff hole, after Italy’s Renato Paratore had been eliminated at the first, to edge France’s Antoine Rozner and in so doing became the third-youngest winner on the European Tour.

“To win so early in my career is amazing, and I’m already looking forward to the next tournament,” he said.

The 18-year-old needed a birdie to make the playoff, finishing on a 19-under four round total of 269.

“I was obviously nervous,” he said, “but I had nothing to lose in the playoff, so it was driver all day. Then, for the approach shots, I just kept telling myself to believe in myself and get the number right.”

Hojgaard, playing in just his fifth event on the European Tour, had been a shot behind at the start of the final round at the Heritage Golf Club.

At 18 years and 271 days old, only Italian Matteo Manassero – who won twice as a 17-year-old – and New Zealander Danny Lee have won on the European Tour at a younger age.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Christian Radnedge)