Day 4: Hovland Secures First Fed Ex Cup Title In Emphatic Style

There is a new name on the Fed Ex Cup trophy – Victor Hovland.

Hovland came into the final week of the regular tour season in scintillating form after his closing 61 to take the BMW Championship and put him in contention to take it all by winning the Tour Championship and Fed Ex Cup.

After the opening three rounds of 68-64-66, he sat 6 shots ahead of his nearest rival, Xander Schauffele going into the final round.

So the main question going into the final round was could anybody overhaul Hovland?

Hovland’s response in the final round couldn’t have been more resounding.

Hovland gave Schauffele and the field no chance by shooting a final bogey-free round of 63 leaving Schauffele in second place 5 shots shy of Hovland by close of play.

pga tour 2023 round 4 recap

On the surface, it could be argued that the final round was a victory lap for Hovland but that doesn’t tell the full story.

Schauffele had to put the hammer down and apply some pressure which he did in producing the lowest score of the day with a 62.

A look at the final round leaderboard:

1NORViktor Hovland-27F-768646663261
2USAXander Schauffele-22F-867646862261
32USAWyndham Clark-16F-568676865268
44NIRRory McIlroy-14F-570677165273
53USAPatrick Cantlay-13F-469686866271
T68ENGTommy Fleetwood-11F-471706566272
T61USAScottie Scheffler-11FE71657370279
T63USACollin Morikawa-11F+261647372270
T95USASam Burns-10F-366667167270
T92ENGMatt Fitzpatrick-10F-267687168274
T92USAMax Homa-10F-270676968274
T91USAAdam Schenk-10F-163706969271
T96USAKeegan Bradley-10F+363677073273

The tone was set after the first hole when Hovland and Schauffele both made birdie but any further progress was hampered by a 2-hour storm delay.

On resumption, Schauffele reduced the deficit to 5 shots with a birdie at the 3rd but Hovland responded at the very next hole with a birdie of his own which was subsequently matched by Schauffele.

Schauffele had made the sort of start he could have only hoped for in his pursuit of Hovland playing the first 6 holes in 4 under-par

The problem for him was that Hovland matched his scoring through the opening 6 holes as he reeled off 3 birdies in a row starting at the 4th.

Things did get a little more intriguing around the turn when Schauffele birdied the 8th and followed up with birdies at 11 and 12.

Hovland was steady enough in making pars but by the time the pair reached the 13th tee the margin of Hovland’s lead was down to 3 shots.

Schauffele however couldn’t keep the pressure on and played the next three holes in level par which Hovland equaled.

Schauffele’s race was finally run when Hovland birdied 16 where he could only make par.

The victory was assured for Hovland as he followed the birdie at 16 with birdies at 17 and 18.

Schauffele also birdied the last to complete his epic closing round of 62.

Wyndham Clark continued his good form and closed with a round of 65 to take solo 3rd spot.

Whilst Clark may not have been in with a realistic chance of winning this week he can be proud of what he has achieved this season.

The highlight for him was his victory at the U.S. Open in June and he can look forward to making his debut in the Ryder Cup in late September.

Matching Clark’s 65 and finishing 4th was Rory McIlroy.

It has been a week of two halves for McIlroy.

Hampered with back pain in the early rounds his movement has improved and by the closing round McIlroy showed no lasting effects.

McIlroy is scheduled to tee it up in the Irish Open which begins on 6th September.

Patrick Cantlay claimed 5th place on his own after the 2021 Fed Ex Cup champion carded a final round 66

World number 1 Scottie Scheffler completed his week with a level par 70 leaving him in a tie for 6th place with Tommy Fleetwood and Collin Morikawa.

But in the end, Victor Hovland couldn’t be beaten.

Hovland becomes the 3rd youngest winner of the Fed Ex Cup and has moved up to 4th in the Rolex World Rankings.

His form in capturing the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship will make him a key player for Europe in the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Xander Schauffele did make a fight of it but in the end, Hovland was just too good.

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Golf has been a passion of mine for over 30 years. It has brought me many special moments including being able to turn professional. Helping people learn to play this great game was a real highlight especially when they made solid contact with the ball and they saw it fly far and straight! Injury meant I couldn't continue with my professional training but once fully fit I was able to work on and keep my handicap in low single figures representing my golf club in local and regional events. Being able to combine golf with writing is something I truly enjoy. Helping other people learn more about golf or be inspired to take up the game is something very special.

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