Viktor Hovland made his presence felt in the final round of the BMW Championship last week. His 61 on Sunday allowed him to rocket past Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick for the win. Unfortunately for the rest of the 29-man field, Hovland arrived at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta with no intention of letting off the gas. Here the 2023 Tour Championship Recap!
The 25-year-old Norwegian pulled ahead on Saturday and didn’t have any concerns with a big lead on Sunday, shooting a 63 and cruising to a five-shot win over Xander Schauffele to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup championship for the 2022-23 PGA Tour season. With the Cup comes an $18 million bonus.
“This is pretty surreal to be standing here right now,” Hovland, who didn’t miss a cut in 23 starts this season, said after receiving the FedEx Cup trophy from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. “I played my best golf the last two weeks and couldn’t have happened at a better moment.”
Hovland started in second place on Thursday at -8 in the starting strokes format. He wound up at 27-under, which is a new record in the fifth year of this format. The previous low score was -21.
Hovland’s 72-hole score of 261 was actually tied with Schauffele, but he had a five-shot head start thanks to the starting strokes.
Hovland is first Norwegian and second Scandanavian golfer (Henrik Stenson of Sweden) to win the FedEx Cup. He is also the fifth player from outside the United States to do so, joining Vijay Singh, Justin Rose, and Rory McIlroy.
He becomes the youngest FedEx Cup champion since Justin Thomas won it all at age 24 in 2017. The only younger golfer to win it was then-22-year-old Jordan Spieth in 2015.
Schauffele’s second-place is his best finish in the season-long standings despite not earning a victory this season. If it wasn’t for Hovland’s performance, the gold medalist from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would’ve cruised to the championship. He was six strokes ahead of third-place Wyndham Clark.
Defending FedEx Cup champ Rory McIlroy finished in fourth place, and 2021 Tour Championship winner Patrick Cantlay was fifth. McIlroy extended his streak of top-10 finishes to 10 and came in the top four in all three FedEx Cup playoff events this year.
For the second year in a row, Scottie Scheffler was the points leader going into the event and started with a two-shot lead. But a 73 on Saturday took him out of contention for his first FedEx Cup title. He wound up sixth, tied with Collin Morikawa and Tommy Fleetwood.
It was a disappointing playoff run for Jon Rahm. The Spaniard led the standings going into the first playoff event but didn’t fare tremendously well in any of them. He was in okay shape after a second-round 65 here, but his final two rounds of 71 and 74 left the Masters champion tied for 18th place.
Hovland and Schauffele will be a part of their respective European and United States Ryder Cup teams in Rome, starting Sept. 29. The final U.S. team will be named later this week.
Before that, there’s one event on the 2023 PGA Tour Fall schedule: the Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, in three weeks. Max Homa is the defending champion.
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