Norwegian star Viktor Hovland successfully defended his PGA Tour title in Mexico and this time it wasn’t close.
Hovland finished on Sunday with a four-under-67 and secured a dominant World Wide Technology Championship win at 23-under 261, four shots ahead of Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz, who shot 66.
It was the 24-year-old’s third PGA Tour win.
He won the event last year with a birdie putt on the final hole for a one-shot win. He also made birdie on his final hole when he won the Puerto Rico Open in the spring of 2020.
“I wish I could putt more often than I do today,” said world number 17 Hovland, who made 28 birdies for the week at El Camaleon. “It’s been just a blast all week.”
Hovland led the final lap with two strokes after a 62 on Saturday and pulled away with three front nine birdies.
Ortiz made a 30-foot par putt after a clogged lie in the bunker on the 18th for a 66 to end up in second place alone, a difference of $ 144,000 if he had two putts for bogey and with Justin Thomas was tied.
At 69, Thomas shot a backshot in third place, one more shot away from Scottie Scheffler (66), Matthew Wolff (65) and Joaquin Niemann (66).
“I just didn’t drive well, didn’t have a good start to really put Viktor under pressure,” said Thomas.
The toughest challenge came from Scheffler, who starred in the Ryder Cup on the final day and hopes his first PGA Tour win is around the corner. Sunday wasn’t the day.
Scheffler missed a pair of short-range birdie putts only to ram an 18-foot birdie on the 12th to get three shots. Hovland responded to # 9 with a 35-foot birdie putt and the lead was back to four shots.
Scheffler’s chip right on the 13th green hit the pin and bounced about 5 feet away, which he did for Eagle. Hovland made an 18-foot birdie putt on the 11th minute later.
Scheffler blinked first. His tee shot on the 14th peeled right into the mangroves. After a penalty drop, he managed to get close to the green only to toss over the back on the collar and do a double bogey.
Scheffler shot 66 and finished fourth alone.
“Viktor plays good golf so obviously he’s going to be hard to catch,” said Scheffler. “I had to do a few birdies towards the end and I couldn’t.”
Hovland is the fifth consecutive overseas-born winner on the PGA Tour, a streak that began with South Korean Sungjae Im’s victory in Las Vegas. He was followed by Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland, Hideki Matsuyama from Japan and Lucas Herbert from Australia.