Viktor Hovland picks up more qualifying points in Florida
Viktor Hovland’s impressive form at the start of 2021 continued as he made further strides in the European Ryder Cup Points Race after a tied runner-up finish at the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession.
The Norwegian, playing in the first of four World Golf Championships events this year, carded rounds of 71-69-66-67 to finish in a three-way tie for second place. He moves into fourth place on the World Points List and leads the automatic qualifiers from that table with 159.45 points.
Played at The Concession Golf Club, named after one of the greatest acts of sportsmanship in Ryder Cup history, the youngster backed up his third round of 66 with a fast start on Sunday when he opened with back-to-back birdies.
A dropped shot at the sixth was followed by birdies on five of his next seven holes, to move within one of the leader Collin Morikawa.
However, the 23-year-old would play his last five holes in one over par to fall three shots short of the champion, Morikawa, who is also seeking a Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits in September.
This tied second finish continues Hovland’s fine form of late and fires him up 50 places on the European Points list into 20th on 1,239.08 points.
In fact, the Oklahoma State alumnus’ last seven finishes worldwide are: win, tied third, tied 35th, tied second, tied sixth, tied fifth and tied second.
This form has put Hovland into the mix as he bids to become Norway’s first representative at the Ryder Cup.
Five-time Ryder Cup player Rory McIlroy entered the week coming off the back of his first missed cut since July 2019 but bounced back by finishing in a three-way tie for sixth.
McIlroy, who hasn’t missed a Ryder Cup since his debut in 2010, fired rounds of 69-70-66-71 on America’s East Coast to maintain his position in fourth on the European Points List and third on the World Points List.
2016 Ryder Cup rookie Matt Fitzpatrick found himself tied for the lead after an opening 66 at The Concession GC.
Rounds of 69-71-72 would follow, meaning the Englishman would finish in a tie for 11th. This finish sees the six-time European Tour winner remain inside the automatic places on the World Points List in seventh with 131.27 points.
As it stands Tyrrell Hatton (4,501.44 points), Tommy Fleetwood (4,433.06 points), Jon Rahm (3,845.90 points) and McIlroy (3,789.53 points) sit in the automatic qualification places on the European Points List.
Meanwhile, Hovland (159.45 points), Victor Perez (139.15 points), Fitzpatrick (131.27), Paul Casey (129.40 points) and Danny Willett (99.92) would qualify via the World Points List.