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Hovland with a birdie hat-trick – one stroke behind the leader in the PGA Championship

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Viktor Hovland in action at the final round of the American PGA Championship. Photo: Matt York, AP / NTB

Of NTB | 19.05.2024 22:11:01

Sport: The Norwegian golf star is looking for his first major title, and initially on Sunday he followed up the strong play from the first three days.

He revealed after Saturday’s round that he was considering withdrawing from the tournament due to poor form, but after resuming his partnership with his former coach Joe Mayo, many pieces appear to have fallen into place.

Hovland avoided a lopsided start when he sunk a long par putt on the first hole. There were also pars on the next three holes, but on the 4th hole he missed a birdie putt from less than two metres.

Then it came loose. On the 5th hole he sunk a much more difficult putt for the first birdie of the day. From five and a half meters he rolled the ball in.

On the 6th hole, he placed his putt about a meter from the hole and collected his second birdie of the day. He was thus 15 strokes under par in total and in joint 3rd place, two strokes behind leader Xander Schauffele.

On the next hole he ran into trouble when he ended up in a sand pit. The move was not entirely successful, but then he rolled in his third straight birdie putt from six meters and climbed to joint 2nd place one stroke behind Schauffele.

A number of top players missed the cut halfway through the tournament. Among them were John Rahm, who had made the cut in 18 consecutive major tournaments, and Tiger Woods. The same fate suffered the Swedish shooting star Ludvig Åberg, who came second in the US Masters, and last year’s US Open champion Wyndham Clark.

World number one Scottie Scheffler, who won four of his previous five tournaments including the US Masters, fell down the charts with a weak round on Saturday. It happened the day after he was arrested by the police and charged with violence against a police officer and reckless driving.

(© NTB)

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