USA TODAY International Edition
Norway’s Hovland repeats at Mayakoba
Twice is nice for Viktor Hovland at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. The 24- year- old Norwegian native became the first player to successfully defend his title in the tournament’s 15year history.
“It feels great to be the first one to do it,” said Hovland, who also became the first player to defend any title on the PGA Tour since Brooks Koepka in 2019 at the PGA Championship.
Hovland signed for a 4- under- par 67 on Sunday at El Camaleon Golf Club in Riviera Maya, south of Cancun, and coasted to a four- stroke victory over Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz.
“Whenever I get into a flow where I’ve got my numbers dialed in and I’m swinging it good, it’s just kind of point and shoot,” he said.
Hovland, who represented Europe at the Ryder Cup in September, did the majority of his damage on the par 5s, making birdies on his first 11 par- 5 holes in the tournament. He took control on Saturday when he birdied half the holes en route to shooting a career- best 62 and grabbed a two- stroke lead.
Hovland sucked any of the drama out of the final round with birdies at the two par- 5s on the front side and drained a 35- foot birdie putt at the ninth, celebrating with a fist pump as he stretched his lead to four strokes. He also got up and down three times when he missed the green. Hovland added a 20- foot birdie at the 11th hole and two more at the 14th and 17th to counter bogeys at Nos. 12 and 15.
Hovland finished with a 72hole total of 23- under 261 and notched his third career PGA Tour title and fourth overall, including a win in June at the European Tour’s BMW International Open.