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Hovland hangs on to become repeat winner of World Challenge

Viktor Hovland, of Norway, chips onto the third inexperienced throughout the closing spherical of the Hero World Problem PGA Tour on the Albany Golf Membership, in New Windfall, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.

  • Viktor Hovland, of Norway, chips onto the third green during the final round of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club, in New Providence, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.
  • Norway's Viktor Hovland, left, celebrates with his caddy after winning the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club in New Providence, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.
  • Justin Thomas, of the United States, right, checks the wind direction at the third fairway during the final round of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at the Albany Golf Club in New Providence, Bahamas, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022.

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Viktor Hovland led by 4 photographs on the flip. Nobody obtained nearer to him than two photographs throughout the closing 9 holes on the Hero World Problem.

It sounds straightforward. Removed from it.

Hovland pulled a 6-iron from a clumsy lie into the water on the 18th gap and needed to make a 20-foot bogey putt for a 3-under 69 to safe victory Sunday, permitting him to hitch match host Tiger Woods as the one back-to-back winners of this vacation occasion.

“I made it somewhat extra thrilling, I assume,” Hovland stated.

You are reading: Hovland hangs on to become repeat winner of World Challenge

A 12 months in the past, the 25-year-old from Norway rallied from six photographs behind on the ultimate day with a 66 to win. That was enjoyable. Way more demanding was main all the approach at Albany, even when it seemed to everybody else that it was a Bahamas breeze.

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, whose three-putt double bogey on the ninth gap left him 5 photographs behind, stayed within the recreation with 4 birdies on the again 9 that gave him a fleeting likelihood, two photographs again taking part in the 18th.

Hovland confronted a 6-iron from the slope above a bunker, with water left of the inexperienced. The face of the membership closed on affect, and the ball headed left into the hazard.

“Mainly simply do anything however hit it within the water,” Hovland stated. “In order quickly as that occurred, I used to be fairly pissed off. However I knew that he didn’t have a gimme par, so if I can wedge up there shut, I can nonetheless make a putt and win the match. And if not, he nonetheless has to make a par to pressure me to a playoff.

“But it surely was much more demanding than it ought to have been.”

Scheffler put his method into the sandy space, and his chip ran over the cup with an excessive amount of pace, about 10 toes by the opening. If Hovland missed his bogey putt, Scheffler would have that putt for a playoff.

Hovland ended the suspense. Scheffler missed what grew to become a meaningless putt and shot 68 to complete two photographs behind, a runner-up to Hovland for the second straight 12 months.

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“I stated earlier within the week that I don’t like ending second,” Scheffler stated. “It’s not feeling proper now. However I’m pleased with the battle.”

Woods gained in 2006 and 2007 when it was held at Sherwood Nation Membership. He needed to withdraw this week with plantar fasciitis in his proper foot, as an alternative watching in his Sunday crimson shirt for some drama nobody was anticipating.

“It’s frigging nerve-wracking,” Hovland stated with a smile. “You’re by no means that comfy. I didn’t play that nice on the again 9, but it surely was ok.”

Hovland completed at 16-under 272 and gained $1 million. The victory is unofficial, however the world rating factors pushed him up three spots to No. 9.

Scheffler wanted to win to return to No. 1 on the earth, a minimum of for a number of weeks. Rory McIlroy was projected to finish the 12 months at No. 1 whatever the final result.

Beginning three photographs behind, Scheffler holed a pitch from 30 yards in need of the inexperienced on the par-5 sixth gap for eagle to succeed in 14-under par and momentarily tie for the lead. Hovland was in bother off the tee. He needed to play a pitching wedge over a 20-foot dune, an 8-iron to the inexperienced after which holed an 18-foot birdie putt to remain one forward.

The subsequent gap was pivotal, the 18th however.

Scheffler’s pitch from the underside of the green on the brief par-4 seventh barely obtained onto the inexperienced and rolled into the bunker, resulting in bogey. Hovland was on the sting of a bunker and chipped to five toes for birdie and a two-shot swing, restoring his result in three.

There have been different challengers over the ultimate two hours, simply not for lengthy.

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Cameron Younger made a powerful bid and obtained inside two photographs at one level till he took bogey on the sixteenth. Xander Schauffele additionally made an early run till that ended with a bogey on the par-5 fifteenth.

Scheffler ran off three straight birdies by the sixteenth gap to get inside two photographs, and Hovland gave him a gap on the 18th till he closed it with the massive putt.

Scheffler nonetheless heads into the vacations with a breakthrough 12 months behind him — the Masters amongst his 4 PGA Tour wins, No. 1 on the earth longer than anybody else this 12 months, the PGA Tour participant of the 12 months.

Younger had a 68 and completed alone in third, adopted by Schauffele (68) and Justin Thomas, who had 5 birdies in a six-hole stretch on the again 9 to salvage a poor begin and shut with 70 to complete fifth.

“It’s solely 20 gamers, but it surely’s the most effective 20 gamers on the earth,” Hovland stated. “You’ve obtained to play your greatest to win.”

Canada’s Corey Conners jumped three spots to complete sixteenth at 2-over 290 general. The Listowel, Ont., native had a 67 within the closing spherical.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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