Hovland is near the big one – and then he ends up in the water

Hovland is near the big one – and then he ends up in the water
Batman & Robin: Here, Victor Hovland hands one of his clubs to caddies, Shay Nite, during Arnold Palmer’s final round in Florida on Sunday.

Victor Hovland (25) was just a stroke behind the lead heading into the final three holes. Then came the moment that ruined the Norwegian’s chances of winning.

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It was a blunder on the 16th hole that ultimately stood in the way of Victor Hovland, who followed the leader almost all the way through the final nine holes of Arnold Palmer’s decisive Sunday night round. He made a total of three bogeys in the last three holes.

He had settled into a good starting position on the fairway on the 5th hole, and was in a good position to make a birdie. But the second shot, which should have brought him to the green, was a huge miss. Hovland turned frustrated immediately after hitting the ball, when he realized the ball was going to end up in the water next to the green.

– it’s not possible. So what’s going on there? exclaims former golf pro Per Haugsrud, commentator at Eurosport.

– It shouldn’t happen at this level here. Here you sit and hope for an eagle, and then it’s a ball in the water instead.

At that point, the Norwegian was -7, just one stroke behind many of the leaders at -8. Kurt Kitayama, Harris English, Scotty Scheffler, and Rory McIlroy were among the profiles who were on -8 most of the way through a run in the Florida sun.

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– It’s very frustrating, of course. I really played as hard as I could have. It’s sad to miss so many punches. I’ve thrown an incredible number of shots all week and still only lose by four, so I have to try not to look at it too sadly, Hovland tells Discovery after the end of the tournament.

With a par on the 17th hole and a bogey on the last, he ended up tied for 10th at −5. The check he can cash for this position is about NOK five million.

On the other hand, Kurt Kitayama kept his cool all the way and took the championship win with a -9. The prize for victory is NOK 36 million. It was Kitayama’s first PGA Tour win.

On Friday, Hovland did this:

In both the first and second rounds, on Thursday and Friday respectively, he finished with 71 strokes. corresponds to −1. On Saturday things went better. Then Victor Hovland played his way to 66 strikeouts, six under par.

And so he was in the lead during the last round late on Sunday evening Norwegian time, despite bogey and double bogey in the first nine.

But it was the ending that ruined Hovland’s chance of victory in Florida. The venerable Arnold Palmer tournament is reserved for the world’s elite, and Hovland also came close to winning there in 2022. At the time, he was only a stroke behind Scotty Scheffler’s victory.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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