PEBBLE BEACH — Viktor Hovland capped off his amateur career on Sunday with a four-under par 67 to finish his week at Pebble Beach at four under and as the low amateur at the U.S. Open.
A pretty good way to go out before turning pro next week. Even better? He broke Jack Nicklaus’ record for the lowest 72-hole score by an amateur in the tournament’s history with his 280 total to better Nicklaus' mark, set in 1960 at Cherry Hills, by two strokes.
Informed afterward of the achievement by Fox Sports' Joel Klatt, the former Oklahoma State star had no idea he’d broken the Golden Bear's record.
“Wow ... I didn’t know that,” Hovland laughed. “That’s pretty sweet.”
Yes it is. His final round wasn’t too shabby, either.
Hovland got off to a hot start on Sunday, going out in 31 with four birdies over his final six holes on the front nine, including one on the difficult par-4 eighth, where he stuck his approach to two feet. He stumbled a bit on the back nine, with two bogeys to offset his two birdies but easily outdueled Brandon Wu, Chandler Eaton and Michael Thorbjornsen, the other three amateurs to make the cut, to take low amateur honors.
Hovland, who was also low amateur at this year’s Masters and winner of the Ben Hogan Award as the best men’s player in college golf, will turn pro at next week’s Travelers Championship.