Viktor Hovland sent the crowd at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Invitational into a frenzy with an ace on the par-3 7th during Friday’s second-round action. Carding six pars in a row to begin his day, the Norwegian catapulted his name inside the top 20 with his thrilling hole-in-one shot.
Hovland’s tee shot from 183 yards out just cleared the greenside bunker protecting the frontside of the putting surface. Taking a big first bounce, Hovland’s ball trickled into the bottom of the cup for his fourth career ace on the PGA Tour and third in less than a year; he recorded aces at both the 2022 BMW Championship and 2022 Players Championship.
Hovland stood at 3 under and six strokes behind clubhouse leader Kurt Kitayama at the time of the ace. The world No. 11 began his week in a similar fashion on Thursday when he holed out for eagle from the semi rough on his first hole of the tournament. He treaded water, but perhaps this hole-in-once will kick start a march to the top of the leaderboard.
Hovland memorably finished runner-up to Scottie Scheffler in this tournament a season ago. Possessing the lead late into the tournament, Hovland experienced some hardship both on and around the green before being passed by the defending champion. With revenge on his mind, the 25-year-old will need more iron shots like the one on the par-3 7th if he is to claim his first professional title in the continental United States.