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  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland won the BMW Championship to vault up to second in the FedExCup standings ahead of the playoff finale. That gave him 8 starting strokes and he didn’t need most of them. Hovland posted a 19-under tally without the starting strokes which would have tied him for the best score of the week with Xander Schauffele. For Hovland, this will be his sixth career win on the PGA Tour, in 98 events played. There are many explanations for his rise into superstar cateogry and Hovland gave a few reasons after the win, “To sum it up just throughout the year I feel like obviously short game has improved massively, course management has been a big deal, I’m not short-siding myself as much as I used to, and just handling adversity a lot better because I believe in my game.” He will now turn his attention toward the Ryder Cup where he’ll be leaned on heavily from European side, expecting to be one of their top performers alongside Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm.
  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland was in the conversation to start the day but wasn’t a key talking point until the back nine. He slept on a three-shot deficit, entering the final round at fifth on the leaderboard. He traded three birdies with a bogey before the turn and that is where the fireworks happened. Hovland peppered all nine greens on the backside, gaining 3.5 strokes on approach on the homeward half by itself. This will go in the books as his career-low round on the PGA TOUR. “I don’t think I’ve ever shot a lower score than 61. I’ve shot 61 a couple times. Never 59 or even a 60, I think, in even a practice round. I guess we’ve still got some more work to do.” This will be the fifth win of his PGA Tour career and vaults him to second place in the FedExCup standings, meaning he will start the TOUR Championship with eight starting strokes.
  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland started his day just one shot off the lead and traded three birdies with three bogeys over the first 14 holes. A scuffed chip was particularly painful at the par-3 12th but he kept churning along and landed two birdies in the final four holes to apply the pressure to Denny McCarthy down the stretch. Hovland needed just one hole in the playoff to finish the deal and is now a four-time PGA TOUR winner. This was his first in the continental United States. Hovland will bring a full tank of momentum into the U.S. Open in two weeks. In addition to this recent form, he’s posted top 10s in each of the last three majors.

  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland was going toe-to-toe with Brooks Koepka all day but trouble at the par-4 16th ultimately put the nail in his coffin. He found a fairway bunker off the tee then hit the lip on his way out, eventually landing a double bogey with those two shots being the winning margin when all was said and done. Hovland may have settled for second place today, but he’s picking up confidence with three straight top 10s in the majors. “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.” Around the green play is always a popular talking point with Hovland and he walked off the course ranked 10th in strokes gained around-the-green this week. It’s another sign that his short game (and course management) is trending in the right direction.

  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland lost a few drives today but made up for it with lights-out approach play. He gained strokes on approach on 15 holes today, ending his day with +4.6 strokes gained approach (best in the field). It was a good start for the young Norwegian and he enjoys the tough test of Oak Hill, “I feel like this course fits me well, but it’s one of those you can hit good shots and still miss fairways and greens, and that’s where you do have to rely on your short game a little bit, but I hit a lot of greens today, so, obviously, that favored me.” Hovland has settled for finishes of T33, T30, and T41 in three tries at the PGA Championship but he’s on pace for a new personal best with 54 holes remaining.

  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland has been T14 or better after each of his last 10 stroke-play rounds, dating back to Bay Hill. That included his first time posting a first-round lead on the PGA TOUR last week at the Masters (T7 finish). He showed no sign of slowing down today, striping 11-of-14 fairways and landing 14 GIR. He also splashed home a trio of putts from outside of 15 feet including one to save par at the par-5 15th after his layup found water. “I’m just trying to play a bit more, not conservatively, but making sure that I hit more greens, center of the greens, and can kind of lean on my putter. And if I do miss a green, I feel like my short game’s in a good spot where I can make an up and down.” The conservative approach is working well so far. If this early lead holds then it’ll be his second straight and second career first-round lead or co-lead on the PGA TOUR.

  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland was one shot worse than the field average in the final round, not the finish he had hoped for. He piped 10-of-14 fairways but landed just 10 GIR from there. For the week, he ranked top 30 in all four sub-categories of strokes gained so it was a relatively balanced attack. Playing in his 13th major this will go in the record books as his second top 10 in a major (T4/2022 Open Championship).

  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland made it look easy today and the scoring all started with a 25-foot eagle bomb at the par-5 second hole. He would stay hot with the flat stick, gaining roughly four strokes putting by the time he signed his card. “Just kept hitting great shots on the front nine and made some putts, and before I knew it, somehow I was 6-under through 11, and yeah, just kind of coast in to 65. So that was awesome.” Playing his 13th career round at the Masters, this is his first time carding a sub-70. If this co-lead holds then it would surprisingly go in the books as his first time holding a first-round lead or co-lead on the PGA TOUR. His best finish in a major championship is a T4 (2022 Open Championship).

  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland is an elite ball-striker but his short game has held him back at times over the course of his career. “I’ve just kind of kept continuing to gain confidence around the greens. Got some weapons around the green here now. The bunker’s not an auto bogey. I feel like I can spin it in the bunkers even though the sand is a little bit fluffy. Short-sided is no problem.” Hovland will be making his fourth appearance at the Masters with finishes of T32, T21, and T27 on his resume. In 2023, he’s twirled top 20s in five of six stroke-play events.

  • GOLF Golfer
    Hovland traded six birdies with two bogeys today. He bagged 21 birdies on the week (T4) while swallowing nine bogeys and one big number. Iron play was the strength of his game this week as he ranked 4th in strokes gained approach (+7.1 SG:APP). “I was just able to kind of trust that I can start the ball over water or danger and just curve it away from there. That’s very valuable out here. Just haven’t quite put all the pieces together to be at the top, but another good week here.” Hovland missed the cut in his first try here but now has a T9 and T3 in his last two attempts. He was one of just three golfers to sign under-par rounds on all four days this week (Scottie Scheffler, Adam Hadwin).

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