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Viktor Hovland

Rookie Hovland breaks through in sensational style

Viktor Hovland has claimed his maiden win on the PGA Tour to secure a Norwegian first and their commentary has to be heard to be believed

 

At some point soon we might well look back on this, the week opposite the WGC in Mexico, as a key one in the career of Viktor Hovland.

The Norwegian, the first player from his country to win on the PGA Tour, won the Puerto Rico Open to not only claim his breakthrough victory but also snap an 18-event winless win for the first timers on tour this year.

For all the talk of the up-and-coming stars of the game Hovland’s success is the first by a rookie on the PGA Tour this season.

And he did it in sensational style holing a putt that was never going to be short to edge out Josh Teater.

On Saturday, after his 8-under 64, the 22-year-old said: “I’m just worried about tomorrow. Hopefully I can hit some good shots and make some putts.”

At the 72nd hole he did this to also secure the best piece of commentary that will take place this season…

Hovland is best known for winning the 2018 US Amateur at Pebble Beach before picking up the low amateur at both the Masters and US Open. He birdied the par-5 18th on all four days and his final round of 70 took him to 20-under for the week.

The closing round was a mixed bag with a treble bogey at the 11th partly offset by a chip-in for eagle four holes later.

This was just his 17th start on the PGA Tour and the last six 22-year-olds to win on tour are no less than Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama and now Hovland.

The Norwegian will now qualify for the Players and PGA Championship.

“The only or the first person to play out here was Henry Bjornstad,” Hovland said. “I grew up kind of watching him play or following the scores online. So to kind of follow his footsteps and be able to win kind of the first tournament for Norway is really special. A bunch of my friends and just normal people from back home paying attention, which is a lot more than I could ask for.

“It was certainly a day of lots of ups and downs. I hadn’t really thought about the perks yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be nice to get into some of the events that I wasn’t already qualified for.”

Puerto Rico Open leaderboard

-20 V. Hovland
-19 J. Teater
-15 K. Stanley, S. Ryder, E. Grillo
-14 M. NeSmith, T. Potter Jr, M. Laird
-13 J. Vegas, V. Whaley, J. Bramlett, W. Roach, R. Oppenheim

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Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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