NASSAU, Bahamas — The 24-year-old rising star put a pleasant ribbon on a three-win yr in golf by posing with Tiger Woods on the trophy presentation Sunday within the Hero World Problem.
It simply wasn’t the winner anybody imagined.
Not even Viktor Hovland thought it was life like he might rally from 6 photographs behind Collin Morikawa, the regular hand who was poised to achieve No. 1 on the planet with a victory.
As a substitute, the Norwegian did the unthinkable in a last spherical at Albany that was pure chaos.
He appeared up from a greenside bunker on the ninth gap and noticed Morikawa sliding quick with a pair of double bogeys. Hovland seized on the chance with back-to-back eagles and closed with a pair of bogeys he might afford for a 6-under 66 and a 1-shot victory.
“I did not assume a win was going to be very potential,” Hovland mentioned. “However I do know this course is hard. You can also make birdies, but it surely’s straightforward to make bogeys and doubles. If I put an excellent rating up there, you by no means know what is going on to occur.”
Nearly every thing did.
On the identical gap Hovland holed a bunker shot for eagle, Sam Burns went from a tie for the result in a triple bogey when it took 5 photographs to stand up a slope from 15 yards away. Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson have been penalized 2 photographs for hitting photographs off the seventeenth tee whereas taking part in the ninth gap. Scottie Scheffler was 7 photographs behind, made a triple bogey on his fourth gap and nonetheless almost gained.
The most important shock was Morikawa — Hovland’s roommate for the week at Albany — who took a 5-shot lead into the ultimate spherical and wasn’t even a severe issue over the ultimate hour. Two double bogeys and a 41 on the entrance 9 despatched him to a 76.
“A little bit unhappy to see him not play his finest right now,” Hovland mentioned. “He is an ideal participant and I anticipated him to simply type of roll away with the victory. However typically this sport isn’t that straightforward and I am certain he’ll come again even stronger.”
In the end, this was concerning the different 24-year-old including to his large yr after wins in Germany on the European Tour and Mexico on the PGA Tour. His third win of the yr in opposition to a 20-man elite area moved him to No. 7 on the planet.
Morikawa, the Open champion and first American to be No. 1 on the European Tour and newly engaged as of Tuesday, appeared like he would breeze to a fourth win of the yr within the Bahamas.
However he missed three birdie possibilities from 10 ft or nearer firstly of the spherical after which went sideways when his method on No. 4 sailed into an enormous bush and led to double bogey, and the identical factor occurred — presumably with mud on the ball — on the par-5 sixth for one more double bogey. A chunked wedge on the par-5 ninth led to bogey.
A victory would have made him the twenty fifth participant to achieve No. 1 on the planet for the reason that rating started in 1986. That place nonetheless belongs to U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm, who did not play this week.
Hovland was amongst 5 gamers who had not less than a share of the lead sooner or later. That modified on the reachable par-4 14th.
Within the group behind Burns, who made his triple bogey, Hovland had a lie so difficult within the bunker he thought of aiming away from the flag to ensure it stayed on the inexperienced.
“However I made a decision to simply give it some additional pace, which has type of been one of many issues I have been battling across the greens,” he mentioned. “If it is a high-pressure state of affairs, I are inclined to hit it mushy as a substitute of going for the open face and hit it onerous. And I made a decision to do this there and it labored out.”
He adopted with a 7-iron to twenty ft on the par-5 fifteenth for eagle to stretch his lead, and he wasn’t finished. Hovland’s subsequent shot dropped subsequent to the cup for a 3-foot birdie.
He completed at 18-under 270.
Scheffler narrowly missed a fifth straight birdie on the 18th gap. He shot 66 and completed 1 shot behind, ending a yr during which he made a sterling Ryder Cup debut however nonetheless has but to win on the PGA Tour.
Bryson DeChambeau completed his day with a triple bogey from the water. He was main after 36 holes and completed in a tie for 14th within the 20-man area.
Spieth and Stenson have been on the backside of the pack all day, they usually have been assured of staying there once they walked again to the place the ninth tee had been all week, not realizing that it was used because the tee for the par-3 seventeenth gap and they need to have been taking part in about 25 yards farther forward. They needed to replay the outlet and add 2 photographs to their rating.
It was that type of day, and the motion by no means stopped till Woods — in a purple shirt, in fact — handed the trophy to the Norwegian. Hovland is the third straight worldwide winner, following Henrik Stenson and Rahm.