Viktor Hovland blacked out on the back nine as he demolished everything in his path. He shot a final-round 61 to win the BMW Championship and set the course record at Olympia Fields Country Club.
This victory is his second on the season after he won The Memorial, and it marks his first FedEx Cup playoff win. It is also the lowest round of his professional career.
The former Oklahoma State golfer made 10 birdies and one bogey on the day. He went out in 33 strokes and sat four back of leader Scottie Scheffler when he made the turn.
Fitzpatrick had an eight-hole stretch in the middle of his round that he played in 1 over, and then two birdies late at least kept him in the game. He and Scheffler each closed with 66 to share second place and leave Chicago feeling helpless.
“Can’t do anything about 61. I did just see Viktor — I called him a little s—,” Fitzpatrick said with a grin. “But for me, just really pleased again that I played really well, final round in contention with world No. 1, and I didn’t lose it. Someone else came from behind and won it.”
Hovland handled the toughest parts of the course with ease as he came home in 28 strokes. It’s like he was playing another course than the rest of the field.
He made three straight birdies on holes 10-12. Then he made par on the par-3 13th. The 25-year-old added two more birdies on the par-4 14th and par-5 15th. Another par came at the par-3 16th, but then he handled the two hardest holes with ease.
Hovland made two birdies to close out his round and sit at 17-under, and the waiting game began. Scheffler made a bogey on the par-4 17th, and at that point, the five-time PGA Tour winner’s fate was sealed.
Going into Atlanta for the Tour Championship, Hovland will be No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings. He will get eight strokes to start the final event of the season.
“I felt like I played very average out there next to Viktor. He played amazing,” McIlroy said. “I was marking his card in there and I’m like, ‘Oh, you only made one 4 on the back nine, the rest 3s.’ It adds up to a nice little 28 for him.
“I sort of realized around like 14, 15, something pretty special was happening.”
For all the FedEx Cup possibilities that played out over some six hours Sunday, Fitzpatrick was the only player who worked his way into the top 30 golfers who head to Atlanta for a shot at the $18 million bonus. He started at No. 40 and moved up to No. 10.
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