Morikawa’s advantage evaporated with two double bogeys in his first six holes of the final round, and it was his roommate this week that catapulted the title and solidified his claim as the world’s best resort golfer. .
Viktor Hovland, who shared a beachside villa with his Class 19 comrades, played No.14-16 in five-under to beat Scottie Scheffler with a shot and win his second title in four weeks. It won’t be considered an official PGA Tour win like his win at last month’s Tech World Championship in Mayakoba, but we’re talking semantics. The 24-year-old Norwegian takes home $ 1million and 48 points in the world rankings for his efforts, and his six Under-66s to beat a field full of superstars were good enough to win anywhere.
âHonestly, when I first started playing and obviously started doing a few runs early on, I didn’t really think winning was even in question,â Hovland said. But after getting three birdies in a row at the No.6-8, looked at the leader board behind the ninth green and saw he was in contention after starting day six, “that’s when I knew that, ‘OK, if I play really well on the nine chances.’ “
Hovland now has four wins – two in Mayakoba, Mexico, one in Puerto Rico and now this one in the Bahamas – which took place in tropical paradises. The man of a country synonymous with snow-covered landscapes and cross-country skiing loves to play golf in the sun.
âYeah, there aren’t a lot of similarities to Norway so I don’t really understand it myself,â Hovland said. âUsually there are problems at the start and you have to hit him straight, I think that helps. But frankly the grass here, the Paspalum and Bermuda, it’s not something I’m very used to, so I don’t know. For some reason I’m just playing well here.
Morikawa’s collapse started early, possibly because he missed three achievable birdie putts to start his turn. An awkward position resulted in a massive pull hook and a stray ball of 4, and he was unable to convert another short putt for bogey. Double bogey, but still in the lead. After a breezy par-5 and a perfect tee shot on the sixth par-5, he seemed to have returned to the error-free type of golf that puts him on the verge of climbing to the top of the world rankings.
âHe’s playing like an athletic Jim Furyk,â says tournament host Tiger Woods. But his second of 6 swerved violently to the left, undoubtedly hampered by an unfortunate mass of mud stuck to his ball, forcing another fall and leading to another double boguey which saw him abandon a lead he didn’t. never sniffed again. A three-putt bogey ultimately sealed a bitterly disappointing 76, considering what he could have accomplished with just one turn under.
Hovland was held steady for 13 holes as the tournament dissolved into a dizzying mess. Early in the day, Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson were penalized with two shots for inexplicably starting from the wrong starting marker. About an hour later, Morikawa’s double gave the lead to Sam Burns, who made his way around the green on the 14th par-4 drivable. An overcooked chip from the left of the hole resulted in a third shot down a steep, level slope. And a fourth shot. And a fifth shot. Indeed, on three occasions he hit a fairway wood – it was a popular game this week, given the grainy green of Albany’s Bermuda – to get him back on his feet. His sixth passed the 15ft hole and while making his comeback it still resulted in a triple rally killer.
Meanwhile, Scottie Scheffler took the lead with four consecutive N14-17 birdies, and his final lap 66 saw him finish second in solo. âI looked at the standings and when I was making the turn,â said Scheffler, âI think there were a few guys at 16. [under] and I thought to myself, and [caddie] Teddy bear [Scott] and I said, “Let’s have a good new tail here, let’s be lucky again.”
âSo I was pretty motivated for the last nine and I was able to pull off some really good shots. Hit great putts too. Some of them seemed to go in and not, but other than that I felt good with the way I played.
Burns’ playing partner Daniel Berger landed a full corner kick for an Eagle 3 on the hole just after Burns collapsed. It was a sign of things to come, with this 15th leeward par-5 bringing in more eagles than starts in the final round.
Rarer, at least to some, were the Eagles of the 14. This is where Hovland took control of this tournament, landing a bunker shot that might well have rolled into the same Death Valley that torpedoed the Chances. by Burns. However, he hit the center of the pin and fell for a 2, his third on that hole in four rounds.
He followed that up with an eagle at 15 (approaching driver at 20ft, swish), then added a dart on the difficult par-4 16th for a birdie that pushed his lead from nowhere to three and made the last find a situation where you don’t have to screw it up.
Of course, it wouldn’t be that simple. When it comes to golf in 2021, nothing has happened. Hovland broke a four-footer for par at 17 before NBC’s broadcast signaled a potential rule violation. Hovland’s tee shot ended just before the green, and he removed the sand that was on the green and directly in his line. The officials checked to see if he had also swept the sand which was disabled the green, which would have been a penalty, before quickly deciding all was well. So his scarecrow remained a scarecrow. Fiasco avoided. Two-shot lead intact.
Still, the loose shot ensured his tee shot on 18, a tough dogleg left with water all the way down to the left, would be nervous as hell. He crossed out a tight draw just to the left of center – kids are drug hell – only to wait for his playing partner Patrick Reed to resolve a rules situation in a garbage area to the right of the fairway. (This foray into the sands of Albany, thankfully, did not result in a full-fledged crisis.) A blocked approach forced him to play a delicate third on grainy and somewhat barren turf just to the right of the green.
A closing bug was enough and the Norwegian, who lives in Oklahoma, won another title in Heaven.
âIt’s crazy to think that I amâ¦ you know playing the PGA Tour is pretty amazing just thinking back to where I grew up and playing golf in Norway you golf six months a year and it’s pretty far-fetched even just playing golf professionally from Norway, “Hovland said.” So for me being here and winning tournaments is pretty unreal. “