Nicolai Hojgaard and Ludvig Aberg continued to excel in their Ryder Cup auditions as they shot fine second rounds in front of Francesco Molinari at the D+D REAL Czech Masters.
Hojgaard followed an opening 65 with a second-round 67 to set the clubhouse lead on 12 under as play was stopped in Prague due to the threat of lightning, while playing partner Aberg shot 66 to finish just a couple of shots back on 10 under.
It was a different type of round for Dane Hojgaard, who did not have his best stuff but still went bogey-free and picked up five birdies in a performance that Luke Donald is sure to be briefed about by vice-captain Molinari.
Both men are playing for wildcard picks and although Hojgaard knows all he can do now is play well to try and influence Donald, he didn’t hide his desire to make the Ryder Cup team.
“I mean, I can’t describe how much I want to be on that team, but the only thing I can do at the moment is try to play good golf, do the work and just do the best I can and hopefully that’ll be enough,” Hojgaard told Sky Sports after his round.
“Everyone in this field wants to play in the Ryder Cup and you can feel it that it’s getting closer, but all you can really do is focus on yourself, do your preparation and go and do your best and then hopefully we can be in Luke’s mind when we get to it after Switzerland.
“But we’re just trying to go out and play as good as we can and hopefully that’ll be enough.”
Hojgaard says the Miracle of Medinah Ryder Cup in 2012 is one of his first memories of the event, with the highlight being compatriot Thomas Bjorn leading Europe to an emphatic victory in Paris – with fellow Dane Thorbjorn Olesen in the team.
“One of the best ones I remember was back in 2012, that’s when I started playing a lot of golf, so I remember that clearly when they made that comeback,” said Hojgaard.
“Obviously then in 2018 with Thomas as captain and Thorbjorn playing was a big one and we were on site watching it.”
Cool customer Aberg makes hot start
Aberg started like a man possessed as he birdied five of his first six holes to showcase just how explosive his game can be.
Just one bogey and one birdie…