Viktor Hovland follows BMW Championship victory with five-shot win over Xander Schauffele at East Lake; Ryder Cup star ends the week on 27 under to register sixth PGA Tour title; Wyndham Clark 11 shots back in third ahead of Rory McIlroy
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 28/08/23 12:33am
Viktor Hovland came through a final-round tussle with Xander Schauffele to secure FedExCup glory and an $18million payday with an impressive victory at the season-ending Tour Championship.
Hovland took a six-shot lead into the final round at East Lake and held at least a three-stroke advantage throughout the final day, although was made to work hard by Schauffele to register a sixth PGA Tour title and second in as many weeks.
The Norwegian carded seven birdies in a bogey-free 63 to end the week on 27 under and become the third-youngest FedExCup champion in history, while Schauffele had to settle for second despite a stunning final-round 62.
Hovland’s latest success follows his BMW Championship win on Sunday and is set to see him move to world No 4, while US Open champion Wyndham Clark grabbed third on 16 under and Rory McIlroy finished a further two strokes back in fourth after a final-round 65.
Sunday shootout at East Lake
Schauffele came into the final day six strokes back and had to hole a five-foot birdie at the first to avoid falling further behind, following Hovland rolling in from 15 feet, with the pair on the second hole when play was halted for nearly two hours due to storms.
Hovland’s first shot after the restart was to hole a 15-footer to save par, as Schauffele two-putted from the fringe and then closed the gap to five when he made an eight-foot birdie at the third.
Schauffele converted from 15 feet to match Hovland’s birdie at the fourth but was unable to add another at the next, where his playing partner restored his six-shot cushion, with both then getting up and down from the sand to take advantage of the par-five sixth.
Both players scrambled from off the green to save par at the seventh and Schauffele closed again with a birdie at the eighth, while Hovland completed a tough two-putt at the par-three ninth to retain a five-shot cushion at the turn.
The pair both squandered birdie looks from inside seven feet at the 10th, before Schauffele cut the gap to four when he drained a 20-foot birdie at the next and Hovland failed to convert his effort from inside eight feet.
Schauffele temporarily moved within three at the 12th after registering a seventh birdie of the day, while Hovland only retained his cushion when he responded to a clunky chip from just off the green by making a 25-footer to save par at the 14th.
Hovland reclaimed control of the tournament with back-to-back birdies from the 16th to take a five-shot lead to the last, where he splashed out of the sand to eight feet and matched Schauffele’s birdie to close out victory in style.
Clark birdied two of his last three holes to end the week on 16 under, while McIlroy mixed seven birdies with two bogeys on the final day to card a final-round 65 and former FedExCup champion Patrick Cantlay rounded off the top-five with a closing 66.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood shared sixth spot with Collin Morikawa and world No 1 Scottie Scheffler, with Matt Fitzpatrick in a share of ninth on 10 under and Ryder Cup hopeful Sepp Straka a further shot back in tied-14th.
The new FedExCup Fall campaign begins with the Fortinet Championship in California from September 14-17, with the PGA Tour then taking a week off ahead of the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome from September 29-October 1. Stream the PGA Tour and more for £26 a month for 12 months with NOW.