After falling short the last two weeks, Viktor Hovland has conquered Muirfield Village to win The Memorial Tournament. He beat Denny McCarthy in a one-hole playoff to secure the victory, but arguably the biggest moment of the day came at the 71st hole.
Hovland was the only player in the final round to birdie the par-4 17th, and it got him to within one shot of the lead at 7-under. McCarthy made bogey on the 72nd hole, dropping him into the playoff with Hovland.
A laser-focused Hovland hit a strong tee shot while McCarthy went wayward right into the rough. Keeping it in the clean stuff allowed Hovland to get onto the green and two-putt for par to get another win.
He came up short at the PGA Championship and was in contention at the Charles Schwab Challenge, finishing as the runner up at the former and T16 at the latter. But this week at Jack’s Place, his game came together at the right moment. Coming in at 33 and playing the last four holes at 2-under were so clutch for someone that usually struggles with the flat stick.
What he accomplished was especially remarkable considering how difficult the course played Sunday. The average score was 74.9, nearly three strokes over par. The hardest part of the course were the final three holes, and he logged a one-under during that stretch.
Jack Nicklaus watched Hovland come down the stretch from the front row, praising the young Norwegian for playing the most challenging part of his course under par. He gave even more encouragement to Hovland when he made the crucial par putt. When Nicklaus gives a compliment, it means something, and that grin on Hovland’s face says it all.
Hovland shoots up to No. 4 on the FedEx Cup standings. His next event will be the U.S. Open at LA Country Club for the year's third major.