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.RELATED
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.