Hovlan wins the final PGA Tour competition, the FedEx Cup, and a 238 million won bonus
Viktor Hovland (NOR) has been crowned FedExCup champion for the 2022-2023 season after winning the Tour Championship, the season finale on the United States Professional Golf (PGA) Tour.
Hovland shot a 7-under 63 with seven birdies and no bogeys in the final four rounds of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club (par 70, 7,346 yards) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on Sunday (Aug. 28).
With a final-round total of 27-under-par 261, Hovlan won by five strokes over runner-up Xander Schauffele (USA) and claimed the $18 million bonus awarded to the season’s FedExCup Playoff champion.
The Tour Championship is the season finale for the 30 players on the FedExCup points list based on season performance, and the winner is crowned the season’s FedExCup Champion.
To ensure that the Tour Championship winner and FedExCup Champion are aligned, a “bonus stroke” will be applied to the standings leading up to the BMW Championship, meaning players will start the tournament with a different number of strokes. The No. 1 player in the FedExCup standings will start the first round at 10-under par, while the No. 2 player will start at 8-under par.
Hovlan, who finished second in the FedExCup heading into the BMW Championship, started the tournament at 8-under par, shaving 19 strokes off his score over the four days. After sharing the lead after rounds one and two, he cut four strokes in round three to take a six-stroke lead over runner-up Shofley, which he held on the final day.
Hovland, who was born in September 1997 and turns 26 next month, made his PGA Tour debut in the 2019-2020 season and won his first playoff title in his fourth year.
Hovland, who became the first Norwegian to win a PGA Tour event at the 2020 Puerto Rico Open, also became the first Norwegian to win the PGA Tour’s FedExCup.
It was Hovland’s second straight week atop the PGA Tour Order of Merit following last week’s second-round playoff at the BMW Championship, giving him six career victories. With three wins this year, including the Memorial Tournament in June, he improved his world ranking to No. 4, up one spot from last week.
In the final round, which was delayed by about an hour and 50 minutes due to inclement weather, Hovlan dropped a birdie putt from nearly five meters on the par-4 first hole before continuing his momentum with consecutive birdies on Nos. 4-6. Playing alongside him, Shofley made five birdies in the first half to pull within five shots.
While Hovlan was unable to cut the deficit in the second half, Shofley birdied the 11th and 12th to close the gap to three strokes.
Hovlan was left with a par putt of more than seven meters on the 14th hole (par-4), but Shofley sank it first for par and then pumped his fist in the air under pressure.
On the next hole (par-3), Shofley had a birdie opportunity of about 4.5 meters, shorter than Hovland’s, but his putt was short and the momentum shifted in Hovland’s favor.
At the 16th (par-4), Shofley’s birdie putt was weak, while Hovlan added a birdie to drive a wedge. Hovlan celebrated with birdies on both the 17th (par-4) and 18th (par-5) holes.
“I feel like I’ve taken a lot of steps this season,” Hovlan said. I’ve played more majors, I’ve won on American soil, and I’ve won a big tournament,” said Hovland, who expressed his delight, “It’s unreal to be here, playing my best golf in the last two weeks.”
“Before today, my plan was to make a lot of pars and let Schauffele follow, but he pulled away early and I had to change my game plan a little bit,” he said, adding, “What he did today was very special and put more stress on me than I expected.”
Schauffele fell one shot shy of the title, but was strong in this event after finishing runner-up in 2019 and 2020, tied for fifth in 2021 and tied for fourth last year. On the day, Shofley went eight under without a bogey. The second-place bonus is worth $6.5 million.
Wyndham Clarke (USA) was third (16-under par), followed by last season’s FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy (NOR) in fourth (14-under par) and Patrick Cantlay (USA) in fifth (13-under par).
World No. 1 Scott Schauffler (USA), who led the FedExCup rankings through the second round of the playoffs, failed to defend his top spot in the final round for the second consecutive season and finished tied for sixth (11-under par).
Kim Joo-hyung and Kim Siwoo finished tied for 20th at 6-under par, while Lim Sung-jae finished 24th (3-under par).
Kim started the tournament in 16th place on the FedExCup standings, while Im was 17th and Kim was 20th at 2-under par through the second round of playoffs.
Kim and Siu earned $620,000 in bonus money, while Im earned $565,000.
Taylor Moore (USA) and Emiliano Grillo (USA), who finished tied for 29th at 6-over par, 먹튀검증 also took home $500,000 in bonus money.