NASSAU, Bahamas — Viktor HovlandHe won the Hero World Challenge with more excitement Sunday than he needed, scoring a 20-foot bogey putt on hole 13 to secure a 3-under 69 and join the tournament host Tiger Woodsas the only back to back winners.
Hovland held a 4-shot advantage at the turn to crown Masters champion Scottie SchefflerDouble bogey on the ninth par-5. The rest of the way, no one was able to get closer than 2 shots.
It was just not easy.
Hovland led by two shots on the 18th, when his 6-iron off the slope above a bunker veered left and into the water. Hovland took a penalty drop, and hit a full wedge up to about 20ft to save bogey.
Scheffler was right in the sandy area of the green when his chip ran hard and settled 10 yards away. This gave him a par to force Hovland into a playoff.
Hovland made the bogey putt to win another trophy with Woods. It was quite different from last year, when he had been 6 shots behind.
Hovland smiled, saying It is frigging nerve-wracking. Youre never so comfortable. I played well enough on the back nine to be able to play at a high level, but not great enough.
Woods won the 2007 and 2006 editions when it was held at Sherwood Country Club. Woods had to withdraw from the competition this week due to plantar fasciitis. Instead, he wore his Sunday red shirt and watched for some drama that no one was expecting.
Hovland was 16-under 272 and won $1,000,000. Although the victory is not official, Hovland was able to move up three places to No. 1 in the world rankings. 9.
Scheffler needed a win to return at No. Scheffler needed to win to be No. 1 in the World, at least for a few short weeks. Rory McIlroyRegardless of the outcome, was expected to finish the year at top of the ranking.
Scheffler shot a pitch from 30 feet short of the green on Par-5s sixth hole to tie for the lead. Hovland was having trouble off the tee and had to play a blind shot above a 20-foot high dune before he holed an 18 foot birdie putt to keep one ahead.
The 18th hole was not as important, but the next hole was.
Schefflers pitch at the fairways bottom on the par-4 7th barely got to the green and rolled into a bunker. This resulted in bogey. Hovland was at the bunkers edge and chipped to 5 feet to score birdie and a 2-shot swing to restore his lead to 3.
Schefflers double par on the ninth, which culminated at 15 feet with a three-putt, left him 5 shots behind.
Scheffler managed to make three birdies in succession through the 16th hole, bringing him within 2 shots. Hovland then gave Scheffler an opening on 18th, which he closed with the big shot.
Hovland smiled, I made the experience a little more exciting, he said.
Scheffler set a goal to be within one shot of the 18th. He didnt quite get there, but he still had the chance.
Scheffler, who was runner up in the Bahamas for the second consecutive year and had his third runnerup finish this year, said that he didnt like being second. Its not an enjoyable feeling right now. But Im proud to have fought.
Scheffler is still able to look back on a remarkable year, with the Masters being one of his four PGA Tour wins and No. The PGA Tour Player Of The Year is the 1st in the world for this year.
Young was third with a score of 68. Schauffele was second with a score of 68. Justin ThomasTo save a poor start to the tournament, he managed five birdies on the back nine.
Hovland stated that although there are only 20 players, it is the best 20 players around the world. You must play your best to win.