Nicolai Højgaard sets the ball rolling for Danes, wins Hero Shootout ahead of Hero Indian Open
Khel Today Bureau
Gurugram: The Danes are still waiting to get their name imprinted on that amazing Hero Indian Open Trophy. But the 21-year-old Nicolai Højgaard, a two-time winner on the DP World Tour already and widely seen as a big star for the future, did set the ball rolling as he won the Hero Shootout.
Højgaard got a cheque of US$ 4,000 as the winner, while Guido Migliozzi who lost in the final, received US$ 2,000.
The prizes were given away by Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman and CEO of Hero MotoCorp.
Earlier in the press conference, both Højgaard and his senior colleague from Denmark, Thorbjørn Olesen, who won the Thailand Classic last week, expressed a desire to ‘go for the title’. Olesen has seven DP World Tour titles to his name.
Two days ahead of the main event, the US$ 2 million Hero Indian Open, the Hero Shootout saw eight players, seven of them pros who will be teeing up at the main event along with Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman and CEO of Hero Motocorp.
The players were shooting from a hundred yards in the first round. Each of the eight participants were given 60 seconds to fire a maximum of nine shots at the ninth green pin with circles marking at 4, 8 and 12 feet that offered 10, 25 and 50 points and a hundred for a slam-dunk.
Højgaard, Guido Migliozzi of Italy, HIO defending champion Stephen Gallacher and fellow Scot Robert MacIntyre progressed to the second round.
Migliozzi aggregated the best score of 270 points in the first round, followed by MacIntyre (170) while Højgaard and Gallacher were tied on 120 points.
In the first round, crowd favourite Shiv Kapur, former Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn of Denmark and local boy Manu Gandas were eliminated with Dr Munjal being handed a bye into the second round.
The second round was a shot from 115 yards out and no time limit on the six shots was applicable. Højgaard tallied 145 points, while Migliozzi had 125 and moved into the final, where the young Dane nailed the title with a total of 70 points from 120 yards again. This time too they had six tries and no clock running. Migliozzi failed to score.
A total of US$10,000 was on offer and it included US$ 4,000 for the winner and US$ 2,000 for the runner-up. The two losing semi-finalists received US$ 1,000 each and the first round losers got US$ 500.