Gritty Viktor Hovland wins Memorial in a play-off -
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Gritty Viktor Hovland wins Memorial in a play-off

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Khel Today Bureau 

Dublin, Ohio, US: Viktor Hovland produced some amazing clutch putts at Muirfield Village to win the US$20 million Memorial Tournament in a play-off with Denny McCarthy. It was his fourth official PGA Tour win, though he has two others, both at Tiger Woods’ event, the Hero World Challenge in 2021 and 2022. It was also Hovland’s first win on mainland United States.

Korean star Si Woo Kim came up short in his bid for a second PGA TOUR win of the season as he settled for solo fourth.

The 27-year-old Kim closed with a 1-over 73 as his 5-under 283 total was two back of Hovland, who defeated Denny McCarthy in a playoff.

Hovland has had some amazing finishes this season, including T-10 at Palmer Invitational, T-3 at PLAYERS, T-7 at the Masters and T-2 at the PGA Championships. He moves to fifth in world rankings.

Hovland won $3.6 million winner’s check and a handshake from host Jack Nicklaus. The Norwegian’s previous official wins were in Mexico twice and Puerto Rico.

Kim’s fifth top-10 of the 2022-23 Season, which includes a victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, moved him up to sixth place on the latest FedExCup standings.

American Indian Sahith Theegala was T-58 after a final round 76.

Leading into the final round alongside Rory McIlroy (75) and David Lipsky (77), a slow start cost Kim dearly as he dropped three strokes in his opening four holes. He fought back with four birdies in his next five holes before his title run came to another hit with another bogey on the 10th hole after missing a par attempt from seven feet. A double bogey on 14th ended his hopes and he finally finished fourth. Kim won US$980,000 and took his season’s earnings to over US$4.8 million.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, the tournament winner in 2014, started the final round two back but closed with a 76 to finish in a share of 16th  place on 288.

Hovland pipped McCarthy for the tournament hosted by golf legend Jack Nicklaus with a par in the first extra hole played on the par-4 18th hole.

The duo posted matching 70s to finish regulation play on 7-under 281 and one ahead of world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, whose fine 67 catapulted him into solo third place. Hovland was over the moon after ending his two-year title drought in front of Nicklaus.

Hovland said, “It felt like a major. So it was really cool that I was able to get it done at a place like this.”

Rory McIlroy had the lead on the front nine, but he gave away far too many shots on the back — three bogeys in a row — for a 75 that took him out of the race.

Scottie Scheffler closed with a 67 and finished third and missed the playoff by one shot, after making the cut on the number. World No. 1 Scheffler has not finished worse than 12th in his 13 starts this year.

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