Viktor Hovland mixed 10 birdies with a lone bogey in a stunning final-round 61, setting the course record and earning a two-shot win; Scottie Scheffler leads FedExCup standings after finishing tied-second with Matt Fitzpatrick
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 20/08/23 11:23pm
Viktor Hovland produced a sensational back-nine birdie barrage to stun world No 1 Scottie Scheffler and claim a dramatic victory at the BMW Championship.
Hovland overturned a three-stroke deficit during a gripping final round at Olympia Fields Country Club, where he fired seven birdies in a back-nine 28 to set the course record with an incredible nine-under 61.
The Norwegian ended the week on 17 under to register a second PGA Tour title of the season and fifth overall, with the latest success also seeing him close the gap on Scheffler at the top of the FedExCup standings heading into the Tour Championship.
Scheffler held at least a share of the lead for the majority of the day but saw his hopes ended with a penultimate-hole bogey, with the American finishing tied-second on 15 under with Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy a further three strokes back in fourth.
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Scheffler missed a six-foot chance at the par-five first but edged ahead when he converted from 10 feet at the next, with the world No 1 almost holing his approach into the third to set up a tap-in birdie.
Fitzpatrick poured in from 20 feet to match his playing partner’s birdie and added another from close range at the next to pull level, with both then firing tee shots to inside six feet and picking up shots at the par-three sixth to move to 14 under.
Hovland – playing two groups ahead – had birdied three of his opening five holes to briefly get within one of the lead but then bogeyed the seventh, resulting in him turning in 33, while playing partner McIlroy was a further stroke back after finishing his front nine with a bogey.
Scheffler burned another birdie opportunity at the seventh and watched Fitzpatrick produce a remarkable up and down from the sand to save par at the eighth, only for the Englishman to bogey the ninth and fall one behind at the turn.
Fitzpatrick converted from 12 feet to join Scheffler in birdieing the 10th and temporarily moved back tied for the lead when the American bogeyed the par-four next, while Hovland charged into contention by starting his back nine with three consecutive birdies.
Hovland responded to a missed birdie chance at the 13th by making a tap-in birdie at the next to temporarily make it a three-way tie, only for Scheffler to roll in from 15 feet and 25 feet over his next two holes to card back-to-back birdies and go two clear.
Watch the best shots from Viktor Hovland’s brilliant final-round 61 as he triumphed at the BMW Championship
Fitzpatrick recovered from bogeying the 14th by birdieing his next two holes to get back within one, as Hovland took advantage of the par-five 15th and added to his birdie tally at the par-four 17th to pull back alongside Scheffler on 16 under.
Scheffler had to settle for a par at the 15th and squandered a look from six feet after a brilliant tee shot at the 16th, which saw him fall behind for the first time when Hovland capped off an incredible back nine by slotting in an eight-foot birdie at the last to set the clubhouse target.
Viktor Hovland was ecstatic after shooting 61 to win the BMW Championship by two shots
Hovland’s lead doubled when Scheffler inexplicably carded a three-putt bogey at the 17th, with victory secure when neither Scheffler or Fitzpatrick could hole their second shots into the last and both settled for closing pars.
McIlroy birdied three of his last five holes to post a four-under 66 and take fourth, with Open champion Brian Harman and halfway leader Max Homa a further shot back in tied-fifth.
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The PGA Tour season reaches its climax on Thursday at the Tour Championship, where only the top 30 in the FedExCup standings get to feature and players are given a strokes-based advantage based on their position.
Scheffler will start with a two-shot lead over Hovland and McIlroy will begin on seven under in third spot, while Jon Rahm begins in fourth ahead of Lucas Glover.
Who will win the FedExCup? Watch the Tour Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 5pm on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour and more for £26 a month for 12 months with NOW.
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