“I don’t think I’ve ever played this well before,” Hovland said. “With this stretch, just putting all the short game and stuff together. I’ve certainly hit the ball this good before. I feel like I’ve hit the ball better than I have this week and even last week. It’s about putting it all together.”
“It seemed like the good weeks that I’ve had before I’ve always managed to short-side myself or chip a couple times and end up out of contention. Even this year I feel like I’ve just become a little bit more complete, and I don’t have to hit it my best to be in contention. I don’t have to hit every shot pure. I can miss it slightly and get up and down and move on.”
Nothing fazed the five-time PGA Tour winner on Saturday. Even a weather delay added fuel to his fire, and his bogey on the par-4 14th only fired him up more.
After his lone bogey, he lined up his shot on the par-3 15th and fired off an incredible tee shot that landed 15 feet from the hole.
Bogey ➡️ birdie— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 26, 2023
Despite trouble on No. 14, Viktor Hovland bounces back with a birdie on the next pic.twitter.com/mFW9gHr5M8
As the crowds chanted “VIK-TOR HOV-LAND,” the 25-year-old showed no emotion. He lined up his putt and sank the 15-footer for birdie. From there, the Norweigan played East Lake like a veteran — he knew there was no need for anything too aggressive.
He is 18 holes away from claiming his first FedEx Cup title and would be the first Norweigan to accomplish that feat.
“The list of names that’s been on that trophy is pretty special,” Hovland said. “Obviously it’s maybe not a marathon, but it feels more like a sprint. It’s a marathon getting into this week, but it’s hard to win the FedExCup if you haven’t played well the last few weeks. It’s a great list of names that’s won the tournament — it would be awesome to have my name on there.”
Hovland and Schauffele will tee off at 1:40 p.m. ET for the final round of the Tour Championship.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.