2023 BMW Championship: Viktor Hovland wins by 2 strokes

2023 BMW Championship: Viktor Hovland wins by 2 strokes

It was looking like Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick would put on quite a show, as the two were atop the leaderboard of the 2023 BMW Championship going into the final handful of holes.

Until Viktor Hovland crashed the party, that is.

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Playing ahead of the leaders, Norwegian blitzed through the back nine, birdieing seven of the final nine holes to shoot a 9-under on Sunday to win the tournament by two strokes.

The 61 was both a course record at Olympia Fields in the Chicago area and a personal best for Hovland. His 17-under 263 was two strokes better than Scheffler and Fitzpatrick, who came into Sunday tied for the lead with Hovland starting out in fifth.

“That has to be the best round I’ve ever played,” Hovland said. “Given the circumstances — a playoff event, this golf course — the way I played the last holes was pretty special.”

Hovland earned 2,000 FedEx Cup points for the win in the second leg of the PGA Tour’s playoffs. That moved him into second place in the standings, just behind Scheffler going into next week’s Tour Championship.

Fitzpatrick, despite not winning, did jump from No. 40 to No. 10 in the standings and will now be playing in next week’s playoff finale.

“Can’t do anything about 61,” Fitzpatrick said after shooting a 66 on Sunday. “But for me, just really pleased again that I played really well, final round in contention with world No. 1, and I didn’t lose it. Someone else came from behind and won it.”

Rory McIlroy shot a -12 and finished fourth, which was his ninth consecutive top-10 finish and is the only golfer to finish in the top five in both this event and last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship.

The Open Championship winner Brian Harman was tied for fifth with Max Homa at -11.

Coming in seventh was Sungjae Im, who also moved into the top 30 and will be in Atlanta next week. He finished runner-up there in 2022 as well.

Russell Henley and Xander Schauffele tied for eighth. With that finish, Schauffele moved into sixth in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings and automatically made the team for its biennial battle with Europe, which takes place next month in Italy.

Tom Kim, Harris English, Andrew Putnam, Corey Conners, and Denny McCarthy all tied for 10th. It was a disappointing finish for McCarthy, who bogeyed the final hole and just missed out on making the cut for next week’s event.

Up Next

The top 30 in the standings advance to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta for the Tour Championship. The format is unique, as players earn starting strokes based on their position in the FedEx Cup standings. Scheffler will start at -10, Hovland at -8, McIlroy at -7, Jon Rahm at -6, and Glover at -5. The remaining 25 start between -4 and even par. Scheffler is going into the season finale with the lead for the second year in a row, but last year, McIlroy won and was crowned FedEx Cup champion.

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