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Viktor Hovland could accomplish something few players have by winning this weekend

February 27, 2021
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Mike Ehrmann

Viktor Hovland plays his shot from the first tee during the third round of the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship.

Viktor Hovland not only rebounded admirably from his quadruple-bogey eight to close out his second round at the WGC-Mexico World Championship, but has put himself in position to do something only four players have done since 1980—win on the PGA Tour with a quadruple bogey on their 72-hole scorecard.

Hovland closed his first round with three straight birdies and had seven more against no bogeys Friday through 17 holes. Then came the disaster at par-4 ninth hole at The Concession Golf Club, where he found the palmetto bushes twice en route to an 8—the dreaded “snowman.”

Hovland handled the misfortune well afterwards, even though it took him from in the mix to six shots back at the halfway mark. Saturday, however, brought some good karma as Hovland went out in 31, including holing out a 44-yard pitch shot for an eagle 3 on the par-5 seventh. Early in his back nine, he was four shots behind Collin Morikawa.

Which means Hovland is likely to stay in contention most of the weekend, leading to an interesting scenario. According to the tour’s website, only Adam Scott (2016 Honda Classic), Phil Mickelson (2009 Tour Championship), David Toms (2003 Wachovia Championship) and David Graham (1983 Houston Coca-Cola Open) have captured a PGA Tour title with a quadruple bogey since 1980.

Although shot tracking is not available for Graham (first hole in the third round at The Woodlands) and Mickelson (par-4 14th hole at East Lake Golf Club during the opening round), Toms came to the final hole of the 2003 Wachovia with a six-shot lead, but made things interesting. After a flared tee shot and poor pitch, Toms was safely on in four but then needed four putts to get the ball in the jar for a two-shot win.

Scott’s quadruple-bogey 7 on the par-3 15th at PGA National’s Champion course started with a flared tee shot that found the water. Hitting from the drop zone, his ball went over the green into the water again. After another penalty stroke, he had a 10-footer for 6 but missed. Amazingly, Scott shot 66 in that round and would win by one on Sunday.

Hovland is hoping for a similar ending come Sunday.