Viktor Hovland Defends Hero World Challenge In Thrilling Finish

Hovland holed a crucial lengthy bogey putt to defend his Hero World Challenge title in the Bahamas

Hovland puts his thumbs up
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In a high-quality finish, Viktor Hovland came out on top, as he defended his Hero World Challenge title in the Bahamas. However, it wasn't an easy finish for the Norwegian, even with a comfortable lead and just a handful of holes remaining.

With two thirds of the round gone, it seemed that the 25-year-old was cruising to the title, but former World No.1 Scottie Scheffler was scything down Hovland and, going down the 72nd, a shot that found the water seemed to give the American hope.

However, after taking a drop and finding the green with his fourth shot, Hovland holed a stunning long-range bogey putt to defend his Hero World Challenge title and secure the $1 million first prize in the Bahamas.

Starting the final day, it was indeed Hovland who led the field. Six holes in though and Scheffler found himself one shot back of the Norwegian. Two holes later, Hovland had cemented a three shot advantage, with the lead extending to five at one point during the back nine.

Scheffler clawed it back though and, going down the last, it was just a two shot advantage in Hovland's favour. Missing the bunker with his tee shot, it seemed that Hovland had gotten away with it. That was until his second shot found the water to the left of the green. 

Hovland celebrates with Tiger

Hovland defended his title that he claimed back in 2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Opening the door for Scheffler, he couldn't convert, with a mud ball, which is something that players had found regularly throughout the third round, playing pivotal as his ball found the wasteland to the right of the green.

Scheffler's misery was soon compounded, when Hovland holed a clutch bogey putt to guarantee the victory and the defence of his title. 

The next stop on the 2023 PGA Tour schedule is the QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x