Viktor Hovland hit a final round 63 at East Lake in Atlanta to win the Tour Championship by five shots – and the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup title –and pick up the winner’s check for a cool $18m.
The in-form Norwegian, who won the previous week’s BMW Championship, led by six shots going into Sunday’s final round, after shooting 68, 64 and 66, but was pressed by Xander Schauffele, who shot a 62 and closed to within three strokes with six to play. However, Hovland birdied the final three holes to win by five strokes on 27 under.
“It’s pretty surreal to be standing here right now,” said Hovland, who moves up to world no.4 with the win. “The gameplan before starting was to hit the middle of the green, make a lot of pars and make Xander get after it, which he did early so I had to change my gameplan a little bit.”
Hovland and Schauffele had equally fast starts, both picking up four birdies in their opening six holes after a near two-hour delay because of lightning and heavy rain. The American holed further birdie putts on 8, 11 and 12 to reduce the deficit to three as Hovland missed chances of his own but also made some crucial par putts.
It looked like Hovland’s advantage may be further reduced at 14 after he hit a poor chip, but he sensationally holed a 23-foot putt to save par. “That was just huge for momentum because two shots with four holes to go is a lot different from three shots,” Hovland said. “And after that I really relaxed.”
His fifth birdie of the day came on 16, to end a run of nine pars, and he added two more on the 17 and 18 to seal his sixth PGA Tour victory and the biggest win of his career in the season-ending tournament.
Schauffele also had a bogey-free round as he finished on 22 under to claim the $6.5m runner-up prize from the $75m bonus pot. US Open champion Wyndham Clark finished third on 16 under.
World no.1 Scottie Scheffler, who started the week two shots ahead of Hovland on 10 under par as leader of the FedEx Cup standings, had a disappointing week and closed with a level-par 70 to finish on 11 under. Three-time champion Rory McIlroy, who had been battling a back injury all week, closed with a 65 to finish fourth on 14 under.
“As the week went on it got looser and today it was pretty close to 100%,” the Northern Irishman said. “I wish I had felt like this the rest of the week, but even without a bad back I’m not sure I’d have been able to hang with the two guys in front.”
For the final leaderboard from the Tour Championship, click here.