Viktor Hovland bags $18m with dominant victory at PGA Tour finale

Viktor Hovland claimed the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake, becoming the first Norwegian to claim the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup title. 

Viktor Hovland bags $18m with dominant victory at PGA Tour finale
Viktor Hovland bags $18m with dominant victory at PGA Tour finale

Viktor Hovland bagged the $18m top prize with a dominant victory at the PGA Tour's season finale at East Lake. 

Hovland began the staggered start Tour Championship two strokes behind the World No.1 Scottie Scheffler

The 25-year-old was in supreme form all week, carding rounds of 68, 64, 66 and a closing, bogey-free final round of 63 to reach 27-under and finish five clear of Xander Schauffele in second. 

This was Hovland's second victory in as many weeks, the Norwegian also putting on a clinic from tee to green to claim the BMW Championship in Chicago. 

Related: How much they all made at the Tour Championship

Viktor Hovland bags $18m with dominant victory at PGA Tour finale

Hovland receives the $18m top prize for his win which is the sixth PGA Tour title of his career. 

"It's pretty surreal to be standing here right now [as the champion]," said Hovland, who said he had to change his game plan after Schauffele came out firing. 

"My short game has improved massively, and I'm handling adversity a lot better," he added. "I keep pressing on, I keep making birdies."

He began the final round with a six-stroke advantage. Inclement weather forced the players off for a delay lasting more than an hour on Sunday. 

But when play resumed Hovland began immediately where he left off, ticking off birdies at 4, 5 and 6 to turn in 4-under 31 and keep Schauffele at an arm's length. 

Schauffele said after the third round he played nowhere near good enough and knew he needed something special if he was to catch Hovland. 

He did try and then some, birdieing five of his opening nine holes to somewhat apply some pressure to Hovland. 

Schauffele cut the lead to three after 13 holes by rattling off birdies at 11 and 12 where Hovland could only make par. 

Hovland then threatened to let Schauffele in at the tough par-4 14th after leaving his second shot short of the green. 

To a back pin, his 99ft birdie attempt came up well short but the Norwegian salvaged a par from 23ft to retain a three stroke advantage.

He stretched that lead over the remaining holes, birdieing 16 and 17 to enjoy the walk up the 72nd hole with a five-stroke advantage. 

Hovland got up-and-down from the sand to finish in style with another birdie. 

"I'll hold my head up high," said Schauffele. 

"It was the most fun I had losing in quite some time. It's such a weird feeling. I shot 62. I lost by five.

"Just kudos to Havi. He played unbelievably well the last few weeks to get himself into this position and to really just put a cherry on top for himself and his team."

Elsewhere, 2023 U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark finished solo third on 16-under. Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy finished fourth on 14-under. 

Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns, Matt Fitzpatrick and Scheffler rounded out the top-10. 

What they said:

Rory McIlroy on Hovland:

"Yeah, [he's] a really hard worker. Does it his own way. I think he's found a really repeatable golf swing. He sort of aims it up the right side, brings it in over and hits that sort of flat cut down there.
"He's one of the best drivers of the golf ball in the world. I think as we all know he's improved around the greens this year. That's been the difference from being a still a top-10 player in the world to what he's done this year. Winning at Memorial, winning last week, having a chance at Oak Hill.
"So, yeah, look, hell of a player. He works incredibly hard. Nothing but respect for how he goes about his business. True professional. For someone that's still so young, he's got quite an old head on those shoulders."

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