He was frustrated along the way, but Viktor Hovland (23) got the job done in the last round of the BMW International Open and became the first Norwegian men’s golfer to win the European Tour.
Updated yesterday 03:33
Viktor Hovland was pushed by several competitors from behind in the last round and out on the last six holes he was completely dependent on going under par to avoid replays.
With two birdies and one bogey on his way to hole 18, he had one kind of lead before the final hole. There was a new birdie and Hovland thus won the tournament two strokes ahead of home hope Martin Kaymer and four strokes ahead of Jorge Campillo.
Hovland finished Sunday’s round two strokes under par and went 19 strokes under par for the tournament.
– I did not really play so well today, but with some good six or seven last holes, it was good enough and I am happy to sit here with the trophy, Hovland says at the press conference after the tournament.
Hovland has previously stated that he is not so comfortable with being in the lead and to VG he tells that it was another nervous day.
– It was not that I put too much pressure on myself, but I did not quite get the start I wanted. Then you start to think a little that I had three kinds of management and now it is suddenly one or whatever it is. You start to think a little more, but it was good enough in the end. I would like to hit a couple of better irons and a couple of better putts. Whether it is due to the mental or if it just happened, it is difficult to say, he says to VG.
With the victory, Hovland became the first Norwegian to win the men’s European Tour in golf and secured a prize check of 229,650 euros, equivalent to 2.3 million Norwegian kroner.
Discovery’s golf commentator, Henrik Bjørnstad, is very impressed with Hovland.
– He makes us speechless every time. That he takes his and Norway’s first victory on the European Tour is completely raw, Bjørnstad says to VG.
– He is 23 years old and has won twice on the PGA Tour and once on the European Tour. I run out of superlatives. You just have to say that it is fantastic and incomprehensible that we from Norway have such a big star in such a big sport as golf, Bjørnstad believes.
Hovland had three strokes to the nearest competitor, Jorge Campillo, before the last round. There Hovland started a bit messy and he was on par for the day after six holes after one birdie and one bogey. The input on hole 7 sent Hovland out into the rough and the TV cameras picked up a clearly frustrated 23-year-old.
– Come on. What’s the matter then? he said to himself.
Hovland saved a pair, but it continued to flutter a bit for the Norwegian, who was again frustrated after being five meters too short with an eagle putt on hole 9:
“That’s so bad,” said Hovland.
The Norwegian finished better and went two strokes under par on the last six holes, which was enough to win the tournament by two strokes.
Hovland will return home to Norway before playing the major tournament The Open in the UK from 15 to 18 July.
PS! While Hovland is the first Norwegian men’s golfer to win the European Tour, both Marianne Skarpnord and Suzann Pettersen have won several times on the women’s European Tour.