Hovland Comes Back Six Shots And Wins Hero World Challenge

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) – The 24-year-old rising star capped off a three-win year in golf by posing with Tiger Woods at the trophy presentation Sunday at the Hero World Challenge.

It was not the winner that everyone had imagined.

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Even Viktor Hovland didn’t think it was a real possibility that he could come back from a six-shot deficit on Collin Morikawa, who with his steady hand had a chance of reaching world number one with a win.

Instead, the Norwegian did the unthinkable in a final round at Albany, which was utter chaos.

He watched from the 9th bunker and saw Morikawa go down with a pair of double bogeys. Hovland seized the opportunity with eagles on back-to-back holes and closed out with a pair of bogeys he could afford to pull to close with a 66-stroke, six-under-par round, and a one-shot win.

“I didn’t think a win was going to be possible,” said Hovland. “But I know the field is deceptive. You can birdies, but it’s easy to bogey or double bogey. If he did a good round, you never know what could happen ”.

And almost anything happened.

On the same hole that Hovland hit a shot from the bunker for an eagle, Sam Burns went from tied for the lead to triple bogey when it took five strokes to climb a 15-foot incline. Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson received two strokes for shooting from the 17th tee while playing the ninth hole.

The biggest surprise was Morikawa – Hovland’s roommate this week at Albany – who had a five-shot lead in the final round and wasn’t even a factor in the final hour. Two double bogeys and a 41-shot scorecard in the first nine holes sent him to a round of 76.

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