Viktor Hovland’s Masters ends with bizarre miss from inches away

Viktor Hovland, Shay Knight

Viktor Hovland missed the Masters cut, and a late three-putt — and bizarre miss from inches away — didn't help his cause.

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AUGUSTA, Ga. — Maybe not now, perhaps not for a while, but Viktor Hovland believes the bad stuff sometimes leads to the good. 

Although it’s unclear if he’s still thinking that after he just three-putted from 5 feet — including a miss of about 3 inches — to miss the Masters cut by two shots.

“Yeah, sometimes it’s like, I would say — I don’t know if that’s normal, but I feel like that’s how I’m wired a little bit,” Hovland said earlier this week. “If I play bad, that almost motivates me more than when I’m playing good because when you’re playing good, it’s like, OK, I know what I’m doing, I can kind of take tomorrow off or I know that I’m playing good, so I’ll just chill for a little bit or whatever. You become more complacent. I would say as soon as I play bad or I make a couple of mistakes, that almost motivates me more to come back and get better.”

Now, about that three-putt.

On Friday, during the second round at Augusta National, Hovland had been struggling. It was surprising. A day earlier, he shot a one-under 71. But he succumbed to the wind and the devilishness of Augusta. He bogeyed 1. He tripled 2, via two penalties. He doubled 4. He bogeyed 5. He birdied 13, but then bogeyed 14. He was six over. He was squarely on the cut line.

Then on the 550-yard, par-5 15th, Hovland disastrously fell off. After four strokes found him 5 feet from the hole, it took him three more to get in the cup. A quick rundown:

— On the par putt, he missed to the left. It happens. His ball finished about 3 inches away. He took three steps to his right. 

— On the bogey putt, Hovland just brushed the ball with just his right hand. It missed to the right. Someone in the background shouts: “Oh s**t.” Indeed. 

— On the double-bogey putt, Hovland took five steps to the right. He made it, for a 7.

From there, he took six more steps and heaved his ball into the water ahead of the green. He looked down. He parred out. No weekend.

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