Viktor Hovland with the most positive reaction to heartbreaking deja vu moment

Viktor Hovland remains positive despite coming up just short of earning his maiden major championship once again. 

Lara Kuipers's picture
Mon, 22 May 2023
Viktor Hovland with the most positive reaction to heartbreaking deja vu moment

Viktor Hovland is remaining positive after a tough bunker shot resulted in a double-bogey 6 late in the round on Sunday at the PGA Championship

The Norwegian star was narrowly edged out of by LIV Golf's Brooks Koepka who was dominate on Sunday at the PGA Championship to claim his fifth major. 

Hovland ended up finishing two strokes back in a tie for second with World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler after a final-round 2-under 68.

As a result, Hovland has now earned three straight top-10 finishes in major championships dating back to last year at The Open. 

Sunday's runner-up was his best finish in a major to date, but it wasn't Hovland's first time playing in the final pairing with a chance to win.

Last year at The Open in St Andrews, Hovland, who turned professional in 2019, was paired with Rory McIlroy in the final tee time. 

However, neither European could get anything going on Sunday as Hovland recorded a final-round 74 to fall back into a tie for fourth. 

Last month, at The Masters, Hovland once again had a solid weekend and a chance to finally notch his first major championship. 

Playing in the penultimate group with Patrick Cantlay, however, the 25-year-old shot another 74 and this time fell back into a tie for seventh. 

And despite falling just short, Hovland still has a positive perspective on the experience. 

He told reporters following the heartbreaking runner-up:

"It sucks right now, but it is really cool to see that things are going the right direction. If I just keep taking care of my business and just keep working on what I've been doing, I think we're going to get one of these soon."

He added:

"First place is a lot better than tied for second, but it is fun to even just have a chance to been one of these. Just making the cut and finishing 20th, you know, that's -- you haven't played poorly, but you've been a non-factor in the tournament, so to be in the last group, that was my second time and been in contention for three of these. That's pretty cool.
"There's another one coming up pretty soon."

Hovland was within striking distance of Koepka before a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 16th all but sealed his fate. 

Hovland's shot found the bunker, and instead of getting it out, he ended up plugging it deeper. 

But this wasn't the first time something like this had happened. 

A day prior, Corey Conners had found himself in the same position when he too couldn't get his ball out of the bunker on 16. 

You can see how eerily similar the two shots were below:

Hovland had few words afterwards on the tough break:

"Just didn't get out of the bunker. Plugged in the lip and tried to get a drop and made a double bogey," he told reporters. 

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