Viktor Hovland wins PGA Tour’s season-ending FedEx Cup
In Sunday’s final round, Hovland led by six strokes but was pushed by Xander Schauffele, who shot 62 and closed to within three strokes.
Hovland won by five strokes on 27 under, collecting $18m (£14.1m).
He said, “Standing here right now is pretty surreal.”.
“My gameplan before starting was to make a lot of pars and make Xander get after it, which he did early on, so I had to adjust it.”
After a near two-hour delay due to lightning and heavy rain, Hovland and Schauffele both picked up four birdies in their opening six holes.
Despite missing chances of his own, Hovland made some crucial par putts on the eighth, 11th and 12th holes to reduce the deficit to three.
Despite hitting a poor chip on the 14th, the world number five saved par with a sensational 23-foot putt.
Two shots with four holes to go is a lot different from three shots, Hovland said.
After that, I really relaxed.”
The sixth birdie of the day came on the 16th, ending a streak of nine pars, and he added two more on the 17th and 18th to win the season-ending event for the sixth time.
A bogey-free round allowed Schauffele to claim the $6.5m (£5.2m) runner-up prize from the $75m (£59.5m) bonus pot. Wyndham Clark finished third on 16 under par.
In the FedEx Cup standings, Scottie Scheffler started the week two shots ahead of Hovland on 10 under par, but closed with a level-par 70 to finish on 11 under. Despite battling a back injury all week, three-time champion Rory McIlroy finished fourth on 14 under par with a five-under 65.
“Over the week, it got looser and [on Sunday] it was pretty close to 100%,” the Northern Irishman said.
Even without a bad back, I doubt I could have kept up with the two guys in front.”
Initially, concerns about his fitness for the Ryder Cup next month arose after the world number two suffered the injury while exercising.
McIlroy, however, seemed unconcerned, stating: “My game is at the level it needs to be, and as long as I stay healthy for the next few weeks, I’m looking forward to playing in Ireland and at Wentworth [for the BMW PGA Championship] and ultimately getting my game ready for the Ryder Cup in September.”
We can get together, have some early team dinners before the week in Rome, and feel like the team chemistry is already building.
It’s still a few weeks away, but it’s going to be a big event.”
The six players who have already qualified will be joined by Zach Johnson’s six wildcard picks.
Luke Donald will announce his six captain’s picks on Monday, 4 September, after this week’s European Masters in Switzerland.
From 29 September to 1 October, the Ryder Cup will take place at the Marco Simone Golf Club near Rome.