The Punter

The Punter's De-brief: Red-hot Hovland stuns sorry Scheffler

Golfer Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland after his BMW Championship victory

Viktor Hovland has won the BMW Championship and Daniel Brown is off the mark in Europe. Our man's here to look back at their victories here...

Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick began the fourth and final round of the BMW Championship tied for the lead and for much of Sunday it looked like one of them would be lifting the trophy.

After Scheffler had birdied two and three and Fitzpatrick had birdied three and four, the pair moved three clear of everyone bar pre-event 20/121.00 shot, Viktor Hovland, who had birdied three of his first five.

The pair eased four clear of everyone after they both birdied the par three sixth, just as Hovland was bogeying the seventh.

Although tied with Scheffler for much of Sunday, Fitzpatrick, who was matched at a low of 2.56/4, never led alone. After Scheffler had made back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13, the Englishman's challenge was all but over when he bogeyed the par four 14th to trail by three.

Scheffler was matched at a low of just 1.132/15 as Fitzpatrick drifted away but, all the time that the two frontrunners were duelling, Hovland was making a huge move on the back-nine. When Scheffler made a mess of his third shot on the par five 15th, when he looked long odds-on to make at least a birdie four, it was game on.

Hovland, who had been matched at a high of 85.084/1 earlier in the day, birdied five of his first six holes after the turn. But it wasn't until he rolled in birdie number nine of the day at the par four 17th that he eventually caught the world number one Scheffler.

Eleven minutes later Hovland was in front when he made his 10th birdie of the day to post a course record nine-under-par 61!

It had been a remarkable performance by the Norwegian and, when Scheffler three-putted the 17th from just over 20 feet, it was game over.

Having trailed by as many as four strokes as he made the turn, Hovland went on to win by two and he heads to East Lake for the FedEx Cup finale - the Tour Championship - in second place on the Standings.

Brown gets off the mark

In Northern Ireland, playing in just his 19th DP World Tour event, pre-event 65.064/1 chance, Daniel Brown, won the ISPS Handa World Invitational by five strokes having led by six after 36 and 54 holes.

Daniel Drown wins ISPS Handa world Invitational.jpg

He had a little wobble at the start of the fourth round when he bogeyed two of the first three holes and bogeyed three holes in-a-row after he'd birdied the par five 10th. But he was excellent after that, playing the last five holes in three-under-par.

Norwegian always worth backing when trailing

Although he was only three adrift with a round to go, Hovland looked out of the reckoning at the turn. But the Norwegian winning from an impossible position is nothing new and he's a bit of an off the pace specialist.

He won the Memorial Tournament back in June having been matched in-running at 210.00209/1 and he won both the Hero Challenge in 2021 and the Dubai Desert Classic in 2022, having trailed by six with a round to go.

Backing him when off the pace through 54 holes is one way to play him but he's also worth watching in-running on a Sunday.

As demonstrated yesterday, when he gets on a roll, he can keep making birdies and he's one to keep an eye on. But this week's Tour Championship, which I've previewed here, might not suit him.

Now up to number two in the Standings after yesterday's victory, Hovland will start the week trailing Scheffler by just two strokes, so if he's going to win, he'll probably need to be up with the pace all week.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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