Hojgaard’s 64 gives him lead in UAE event

Nicolai Hojgaard has fired an eight-under-par 64 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Ras al Khaimah Championship and move in sight of his second European tour triumph.

The 20-year-old Dane, who won the Italian Open last year, birdied five of his last six holes in the UAE event on Saturday for a 54-hole total of 20-under 196, with David Law (69) his nearest rival at 17 under.

Tapio Pulkkanen, of Finland, also carded a 64 and was four shots off the lead at Al Hamra Golf Club, with South Africa’s Oliver Bekker (66) a further stroke back.

Queensland’s European tour regular Maverick Antcliff might have been in the top 10 if not for a calamitous couple of holes near the end of his round when a bogey at the 16th was followed by a triple-bogey seven at the 17th.

It marred a round of seven birdies but Antcliff’s three-under 69 left him a dozen shots behind Hojgaard.

Hojgaard won the Italian Open in September, a week after his identical twin, Rasmus, claimed his third title. It marked the first time in tour history that brothers have won back-to-back tournaments.

Nicolai is ranked No. 100 in the world and Rasmus is two places higher in the rankings.

Rasmus was tied for 11th after three rounds at Ras al Khaimah, nine shots behind his brother.

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