Ninth linebacker Victor Hovland at Olympia Fields Country Club on Sunday was absolutely stunning.
It was the Tour of his life, one that catapulted him to victory in the BMW Championship and put him in great position heading into the final event of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Qualifiers.
Hovland hit a career-record 61 Sunday out of Chicago, thanks to his 28 home runs, nine, and 10 birdies on the day. He beat Scotty Scheffler with a birdie at the end as well, for his fifth career victory and his second of the season.
The win catapults Hovland to second in the FedExCup standings heading into next week’s Tour Championship in East Lake.
“I don’t think I should think too long,” Hovland said on CBS. “It certainly has to be the best tour I’ve ever played on, given the circumstances… It’s very special.”
Viktor Hovland advances to win the BMW Championship
Early in the week it looked as if Max Homa would run away with his second FedExCup Playoffs event.
Houma flew before the field after Friday’s historic run. He scored an 8-under 62 in the second round, which set the record at the time and gave him a two-shot lead. He did it with two ghosts a day, too. But Homma stopped Saturday — he made a triple bogey early, and struggled to recover — which opened the door for Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Scheffler sent out an 8-under 64 on Saturday to take a share of the lead with Fitzpatrick at 11-under. It was his first time with at least a share of the lead after 54 holes since winning the Players Championship earlier this season. Scheffler made seven birdies that day, including one on the par-5 15th that he pitched with a wild driver just off the deck.
Scheffler picked up right where he left off on Sunday. He made two birds on his first three holes of the day – it was just a A few inches from the eagle hole on the third — and did the role with a share of the lead.
While Scheffler made three birdies and bogey on the first four holes in the backside, suddenly giving him a two-putt, Hovland was home-running a few groups early. He made three straight birdies at the turn and made five consecutive doubles before finally joining Scheffler at 16-under-nine-foot in the 17th.
Then, on the 18th, Hovland was perfect. He stuck his approach about six feet from the cup and expertly bowled the ball, setting a new course record and giving him his first lead of the day.
As Hovland sat the clubhouse, Scheffler then pulled off the 17th – giving Hovland a two-shot lead and the win at the finish.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Scheffler said. “I guess that’s the way to put it. I mean, Victor came out and really beat me today and had a great run. I can hold my head up high and just – I gave my best out there today and I fought really hard. I just came out at the end with a few short shots.”
Scheffler finished tied for second with Fitzpatrick at 15-under. Rory McIlroy finished 4th in the 12-Under-Week, and both Homma and Brian Harman finished a T5.
Hovland has won twice this season, after winning the playoffs at the Memorial Tournament in June. He didn’t miss a cut all season, going T13 at both the British Open and the FedEx St. Louis Championships. Jude in his last two matches. The 25-year-old entered the week ranked No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Tour Championship starting positions
The top 30 golfers in the FedExCup rankings qualify for next week’s Tour Championship in Eastlake, Atlanta. This tournament has the only amazing start on tour.
With his win Sunday in Chicago, Hovland jumped from No. 7 to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings. That means he will start at eight on Thursday in Georgia.
While he failed to hold on and take the win, Scheffler still held out ahead of John Rahm and took first place in the standings. Scheffler, for the second straight season, will head to East Lake at 10-under by two shots.
Here’s a look at the starting locations for next week’s season finale.
10-Under: Scotty Scheffler
8-under: Victor Hofland
7-Under: Rory McIlroy
6-Under: Jon Rahm
5-Under: Lucas Glover
4-Under: Max Homma, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Windham Clark, Matt Fitzpatrick
3-under: Tommy Fleetwood, Russell Henley, Keegan Bradley, Ricky Fowler, Xander Schaffele
2-under: Tom Kim, Sungjae Im, Tony Phino, Corey Conners, Se Woo Kim
1-under: Taylor Moore, Nick Taylor, Adam Schenck, Colin Morikawa, Jason Day
until: Sam Burns, Emiliano Grillo, Terrell Hatton, Jordan Spieth, Seb Straka