Viktor Hovland Claims Drama-Filled Hero World Challenge

In a chaotic final round, it was Viktor Hovland who came from six shots back to secure his fourth PGA Tour title, at the Hero World Challenge.

Viktor Hovland Hero World Challenge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After 54-holes, you may have been forgiven to think that the title was going to Collin Morikawa. However, after the front nine, his five shot overnight lead had been switched to a two shot deficit, with the American going out in a five-over-par 41.

That opened the door to a number of players, but it was Viktor Hovland who broke out from the pack, with a stunning eagle, eagle, birdie stretch that eventually led to a one shot victory.

"I didn't think a win today would be very plausible," said the 24-year-old. "I know this golf course is tricky. You can make a lot of birdies and make up a lot of ground, but it is also very easy to make bogies and doubles.

"I knew if I put a good score out there you never know what is going to happen. Winning this tournament is really cool, it's incredible to be part of Tiger's event and especially to win it. I haven't really done well in these limited field events, so hopefully that is going to all change as I go on."   

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It's difficult to know where to start with this piece so let's begin with Morikawa. Needing a victory to become the new world number one, he looked to be coasting to yet another title.

However, the 24-year-old would find trouble at the 4th, leading to a double bogey. Then, thanks to a mud ball at the 6th, he would make yet another double. That misery was compounded further with a duffed chip at the 9th leading to a bogey and a five-over-par front nine.

It wasn't just Morikawa who was struggling though, with a number of players making high scores, playing unorthodox left-handed shots and, in Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson's case, using the wrong tee box. 

Viktor Hovland Hero World Challenge

Morikawa was looking to overtake Jon Rahm as world number one

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Back on the course, it was beginning to get even more cagier and tense, with the likes of Sam Burns, Patrick Reed and Hovland hoping to add to their growing resumes.

One by one though, players would fall by the waste side, with Burns taking a number of shots to get up the slope of the par-4 14th, the triple bogey eventually dropping him three shots back of the leaders.

It was Hovland who would make the biggest move from the congested pack, with a stunning hole-out bunker shot for eagle at the 14th being followed by an equally impressive eagle at the par-5 15th.

The 24-year-old, who recently defended his Mayakoba Classic title, then nearly holed his approach shot at the 16th, as his stretch of 2-3-3 put him three shots clear with two to play.

As Scottie Scheffler set the clubhouse target at 17-under-par, Hovland produced a scrappy three-putt at the 17th to see his lead down to two and, despite a bogey at the last, he would go on to win by just a single shot.

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