Sat, 11 Jul 2020

Hovland captures first PGA Tour win in Puerto Rico

Field Level Media
24 Feb 2020, 08:55 GMT+10

Norway's Viktor Hovland sank a 30-foot putt on the final hole to record his first career PGA Tour victory on Sunday in the Puerto Rico Open at Rio Grande.

Hovland followed his 8-under-par 64 on Saturday with strong play the following day, building a three-stroke lead midway into the final round before a triple-bogey nearly turned the tide. The 22-year-old regained his composure and ultimately sank his final putt to finish the tournament at 20-under 268, one shot ahead of Josh Teater.

"I hit some really good shots down the stretch," Hovland said. "The putt on the last was just a bonus."

The victory at Grand Reserve Country Club allowed Hovland to gain full exemption for the entire 2021-22 season and earn qualifications for numerous select events, including this year's Players Championship.

As one would expect, Hovland was all smiles after winning his first tournament on the PGA Tour.

"Obviously you're trying to win every week, but I mean, to just do it, it's incredible," Hovland said. "It's a special feeling."

Four of the last 10 winners of the Puerto Rico Open have been rookies.

Teater, who was the co-leader through two rounds, was unable to sink his 15-foot birdie putt on No. 18 and finished his round at 69. Teater was bidding for his first PGA win of his career at age 40.

"Hat's off to Viktor," Teater said, per the Golf Channel. "He's a great player, and we're going to see him do it more often."

First-round leader Kyle Stanley (68), Sam Ryder (69) and second-round co-leader Emiliano Grillo (70) of Argentina finished in a three-way tie for third place.

Matthew NeSmith (67), Ted Potter Jr. (69) and Scotland's Martin Laird (75) ended tied for sixth.

Laird, who tied the course record by firing a 9-under 63 in the third round, was bidding for his fourth career PGA Tour win and first since 2013 at the Valero Texas Open.

The alternate-field tournament is running concurrently with the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.

--Field Level Media

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