Saturday, January 28, 2023

Hovland repeats as World Challenge champion

NASSAU, Bahamas ( Associated Press) – Victor Hovland won the Hero World Challenge with more emotion than was needed on Sunday and confirmed his victory with a 20-foot bogey putt on the final hole for a 3-under 69. He joined host Tiger Woods as the only champions in previous years.

Hovland started the back nine with a four-shot lead after Masters champion Scotty Scheffler double-bogeyed the ninth hole. No one came close to two punches.

It didn’t seem that easy.

Hovland was two shots ahead on the 18th when his bunker shot veered left and went into the water. He received a one stroke penalty, brought the ball to within 20 feet and had a chance to finish with a bogey.

Scheffler was in the sand to the right of the green and his shot came within 10 feet. If Hovland missed, the tie would have forced a playoff.

But Hovland shot for a bogey and reclaimed the trophy from Woods. It was a different round than the year before when he came back from a six-shot deficit.

“It was very stressful,” Hovland admitted with a smile. “You’re never that comfortable. I didn’t play that well in the back nine, but it was good enough.”

Woods won at Sherwood Country Club in 2006 and 2007. This week he withdrew on Monday due to plantar fasciitis.

Hovland finished with a 16-under 272 for the million-dollar prize. The win is still not official, but the win will take him up three places to ninth in the world rankings.

Scheffler needed to win to return to the top of the world for at least the next two weeks.

Nation World News Desk
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