The results haven’t gone how Viktor Hovland would like them at recent major championships, but the fact he continues to put himself in the mix at big events is commendable.
For the second time in the last three majors, Hovland played his way into the final group on Sunday. Entering Sunday at the PGA Championship trailing Brooks Koepka by one, Hovland posted a 2-under 68. For the most part, he played steady golf, but Koepka was not going to be denied with a Sunday 67.
Had his ball not plugged in the lip of the bunker on the 16th hole in the final round, things could’ve been a lot different.
"“First place is a lot better than tied for second, but it is fun to even just have a chance to been one of these,” Hovland was transcribed by ASAP Sports. “Just making the cut and finishing 20th, you know, that’s — you haven’t played poorly, but you’ve been a non-factor in the tournament, so to be in the last group, that was my second time and been in contention for three of these. That’s pretty cool.”"
Hovland was resigned to T-2nd. It’s still his best finish at a major, bettering his T-4th at the 2022 Open Championship.
The Norwegian also took T-7th at the 2023 Masters. Add in a T-3rd at the Players Championship, and it’s clear Hovland’s best can come out against the best fields.
The former Oklahoma State Cowboy comes to the Charles Schwab Challenge on a streak of 14-straight made cuts worldwide.
Hovland’s made the weekend both times playing at Colonial. He earned T-23rd (70-68-68-66) in 2020 and T-21st (69-65-73-71) last year.
This would appear to be a solid course fit for Hovland, who’s a great ball striker and is among the most accurate among the top 50 on the PGA Tour in driving distance.
Putting is a weakness in Hovland’s game, but he was ninth in the field at last year’s CSC in strokes gained putting. Hovland was eighth last week at the PGA.
Players tend to get better around the greens as their careers progress, and that appears to be the case for Hovland.