Viktor Hovland surged past overnight leaders Matt Fitzpatrick and Scottie Scheffler by birdying seven out of his last nine holes to secure victory at the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields.
The 25 year-old Norwegian began the final round three shot behind the overnight leaders but raced up the leaderboard by producing a stunning display on the back nine to hit a career-best nine-under 61 and set a new course record on his way to triumph at 17 under.
This is Hovland’s fifth career victory and second on the PGA TOUR in 2023 after winning the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday in March.
“It has to be my number one [round of his career],” he told Sky Sports following his victory.
“I remember playing a pretty special round of golf in my first year on tour – I shot seven under at Torrey Pines when it was hailing and windy and raining and that’s probably the best I’ve ever struck it throughout a round.
“But to shoot 61 and shoot 28 on the back nine at this golf course and under the circumstances, I have nothing that beats that.
“I was thinking if I post a score like I did yesterday (65) I could at least have a chance, but it’s hard when you have so many guys in front of you that are really good and playing awesome. Catching heat on the back nine was what I had to do.”
Fitzpatrick ended the tournament tied-second alongside world no. 1 Scottie Scheffler on 15 under while Rory McIlroy fell down three strokes back in fourth on 12 under.
The BMW Championship is the second-to-last stage of the season-concluding FedExCup playoffs. The field consists of the leading 50 players in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup standings, and from this group, the top 30 will earn their place in the forthcoming Tour Championship held in Atlanta later this week.
At the top of the rankings, Scheffler will commence the tournament with a two-shot lead. Hovland currently stands in second in the rankings, climbing up five places.
The Tour Championship, the season-ending event, will take place between 24-27 August at the East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta.