It had to end sometime. Viktor Hovland couldn’t keep posting scores in the 60s on the PGA Tour, treating his nascent professional golf career like he was on an extended run playing Golden Tee.
And so on Saturday at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, the 22-year-old from Norway did the inevitable. Hovland shot a two-over 74, including a double-bogey 7 on the 18th hole, that ended his streak of consecutive rounds in the 60s on tour at 19, two longer than Bob Estes’ previous record set in 2001.
Hovland had an up-and-down front nine in the third round at the Club at Nine Bridges on Juju Island in South Korea, making three birdies and two bogeys over a six-hole stretch. Still, he turned in one under par to give himself a good chance at another sub-70 score. But bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes changed things for the worse. A birdie on the 14th hole gave him a chance if he could birdie three more of the final four holes, yet it was too tall a task.
During his 19-round stretch in the 60s, Hovland shot an aggregate 48 under par. The streak began with a final-round 64 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on June 30, the eighth round he had played on the PGA Tour after turning professional earlier in the month. “I mean, it’s cool to kind of be a part of history,” Hovland said after breaking the record.
Hovland’s 74 matches the highest round he’s ever shot in a PGA Tour event; he shot a 74 as an amateur in the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.
The double bogey on the 18th dropped Hovland to four under for the tournament, where he is tied for 33rd after three rounds. He will have to rally then to extend a different streak that he carried into the tournament this week: five straight top-16 finishes on tour. That said his scores in the final round of his last five PGA Tour starts are 64-65-64-65-64.