Manuel Elvira's 'dream start' helps him equal course record at Ras Al Khaimah Championship

Spaniard takes share of the lead alongside Denmark’s Rasmus Højgaard at Al Hamra Golf Club

Manuel Elvira of Spain tees off on the third hole on day two of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club. Getty Images
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Spain's Manuel Elvira and Denmark’s Rasmus Højgaard edged ahead after another day of low scoring at Al Hamra Golf Club during the second round of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship saw them reach 14-under par at the halfway point.

Elvira repeated the feat of Callum Shinkwin in the opening round by equalling the course record with a scintillating 62 which featured eight birdies and an eagle two on the par-4 13th.

“I got off to the dream start. I was six under through five, birdied the first three and then eagled my fourth hole (13th) and birdied the fifth,” he said. “After that it was just a case of keep going. I kept giving myself chances and got a 62 at the end so very happy with it."

Both Højgaard and Elvira have played alongside their brothers on the DP World Tour this season, with Elvira sharing a room this week with 2021 Wales Open champion Nacho, while Højgaard's identical twin Nicolai is contending at the Farmer's Insurance Open on the PGA Tour.

While the 22-year-old Højgaards have been regulars on Tour since 2020, 27-year-old Elvira - nine years his brother's junior - is playing in his rookie season after graduating from the European Challenge Tour.

He secured three second places as he finished third on the 'Road to Mallorca' and is now looking to go one better for a first professional win.

“Obviously playing Challenge Tour last year was a great experience and preparation for the main tour," he said. "It is really competitive every week. I was lucky to be in contention a lot last year so I feel like am prepared to perform here so we will see what happens on the weekend.”

Højgaard, who has four DP World Tour titles to his brother’s three, built on his solid opening round of 66 with an eight-under 68.

"It would be awesome (for both to win)," he said. "It’s something we never talk about because it would be such a rare occurrence.

"I think Minjee and Min Woo (Lee) did it back-to-back. It would be cool if that was to happen, but again it’s nice to see Nicolai play well and I’m just trying to feed off all these good performances.

"He’s playing well and I’m playing well, it’s cool to follow each other’s different paths."

Højgaard’s fellow countryman Thorbjørn Olesen joined the growing list of players to match the course record with a 62 to move into a share of third place with yesterday’s leader Shinkwin, who posted a 69, at 13-under for the tournament.

The UAE’s Joshua Grenville-Wood, meanwhile, remains in the hunt after another impressive round of 68 left him in a share of 13th place, five shots off the lead at nine under.

Updated: January 26, 2024, 6:03 PM