Hovland Wins the FedEx Cup at East Lake

The professional golf season is beginning to wind down as it moves away from Europe and long summer days spent on the most famous courses in Scotland and across the United Kingdom. Players now look forward to a brief rest before moving to sunnier climates where they’ll end the year in style, earning cash and climbing the golf rankings

The season takes a new direction, and only the most consistent players can handle moving from links courses to playing at Wentworth, Hong Kong, and Doha. Which names will finish the season on a high, claiming major-ranking titles? Have your say on the champions of the best upcoming tournaments at major sportsbook apps. Create an account today to claim a welcome bonus free bet.

Viktor Hovland is the name on every golf fan’s lips following his sensational and unexpected victory in the FedEx Cup. The 25-year-old from Oslo, Norway, banked the PGA Tour’s season-ending trophy at East Lake, Atlanta. And it was nothing short of what the youngster deserved following an almost faultless round on the final day.

Who is Hovland, and what can we expect from him in what’s left of 2023? Which other players performed well in Atlanta and are worth following in the coming weeks and months? Keep reading as our team of sports writers brings you up to speed on golf’s new favorite and upcoming competitions worth watching.

Hovland silences the doubters

At the start of the year, he wasn’t exactly a household name in professional sports, but he’ll end 2023 as one of the biggest names in golf. Hovland is a 5ft 10inch Norwegian golfer based in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He turned professional in 2019 and has ten wins of note: six on the PGA Tour, two on the European Tour, and two others. Fans firmly believe there’s plenty more to come from young Viktor, who continues to grow in experience and confidence.

Hovland has appeared in each major once but has finished no better than fourth in 2022 at The Open Championship. He hasn’t always enjoyed a rub of the green, but those closest to the emerging talent knew it was only a matter of time before he claimed his big break. And that came at the FedEx Cup recently, the rising star timing his arrival to perfection.

Leading by six shots heading into Sunday’s final day at East Lake, Hovland was in a strong position but knew his rivals would try to shoot him down on the closing day of play. Scheffler, Fitzpatrick, and Rahm gave it their best shot, but Viktor wasn’t for catching. He held his nerve to cross the line as the new FedEx Cup champion. It came as a shock to most, but that didn’t take the shine off his day. 

Viktor’s win was the result of consistency and a stunning final round. Some pundits doubted the inexperienced Norwegian could hold his nerve when things got serious. They knew he was a talent, but did he have the minerals to be a champion? Hovland answered those questions and some, showing the world what he could do.

A perfect end

Staring at the most crucial round of his life, Hovland composed himself to shoot a bogey-free round at East Lake before the eyes of the watching world. The challengers were breathing down his neck, but Viktor smashed a seven-under-par 63 to keep the sharks at arm’s length. It was an example of how to play golf under pressure.

Xander Schauffele finished as the best of the rest in second place and was, at one stage, just three shots off the leader. The most exciting and pleasing aspect of Hovland’s win was he came to life when under pressure. With Xander nipping away at his heels, Viktor birdied the final three, holding on to win by five shots and claiming the $18 million in prize money. He’s now an overnight sensation in sports.

Speaking to the press following his unlikely but well-deserved victory, Viktor said of his shock at holding on to the lead under intense pressure. The champion walked fans through his game plan, aiming for the middle of the greens to score pars and keep Xander and the others at a comfortable distance. He made a fast start, but his American rival matched that.

Winning the trophy was a feather in the cap, but it won’t be his last success. The man from Oslo didn’t only win the FedEx; he got ahead, held his nerve, and ground down the competition. He’s a player who likes to go on the offense, making a fast start and setting a pace he thinks his rivals won’t match. But we enjoyed watching his dogged determination shine through when things got tricky.

Other sports to watch this week

The 2023 US Open is now underway as a star-studded field battle for a stunning $65,000,000 in prize money. The sport’s leading players are in New York to contest the campaign’s final Grand Slam, and there’s a competitive field on both the men’s and women’s sides of the draw. Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, and Daniil Medvedev are in attendance, looking to add their name to this historic trophy.

The games have already begun as the lower-ranking players battle to make it through to the later stages, hoping to draw a big name. Pulling a Djokovic or Alcaraz from the hat means almost certain elimination for most players in New York. Still, the chance to share a court with a legend and enjoy increased exposure is too good an opportunity to miss. And let’s remember the US Open has given us more than the odds upset over the years.

Who do you think will win the 2023 US Open? Have your say on the men’s champion and winner of the women’s US Open and get great odds at the best bookies. The top sportsbooks make Djokovic the favorite, and the Serb is a popular pick with tennis lovers. He has won the US Open title three times but not since 2018.