How did Viktor Hovland celebrate his win? By caddying in a U.S. Open qualifier
There will be plenty of 25-year-old dudes caddying for their buddies Monday in one of the 10 U.S. Open final qualifiers around the country.
One of them just so happens to be a four-time PGA Tour winner.
Yesterday’s PGA Tour winner.
Fresh off a victory at the Memorial Tournament on Sunday evening, Viktor Hovland tagged in Monday morning for a day’s worth of looping for his friend and former Oklahoma State roommate Zach Bauchou. Hovland — clad in an untucked shirt, black shorts and a pair of beaten-up sneakers — arrived to his U.S. Open final qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, just hours (and perhaps minutes) after celebrating the biggest win of his life. But there will be no celebrating on Monday, at least not until Hovland has helped Bauchou land one of 11 coveted spots in next week’s national championship. (An aside: We’re going to go out on a limb and say no caddie has ever made $3.6 million the day before a 36-hole loop.)
Bauchou is one of 108 players in Columbus vying for 11 spots in the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club. Brookside Golf and Country Club, site of today’s qualifier, is just 15 minutes from Muirfield Village, where Hovland survived brutal conditions on Sunday to beat Denny McCarthy in a playoff and win the Memorial.
In recent years, proximity to the Memorial has turned the Columbus qualifier into a hotbed for non-exempt PGA Tour pros. Last year, Rickie Fowler and Matt Wolff were two of the bigger names to try their luck at Brookside, though both players fell just shy of qualifying on the Monday after Muirfield Village.
But Hovland’s work qualifies as slightly more impressive than either of the above pro-qualifier appearances because Hovland’s comes less than 15 hours after the biggest win of his life. According to Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, the pair had dinner Tuesday night in Columbus and Bauchou “floated” the idea of having Hovland loop for him in the qualifier. Hovland accepted.
Of course, Hovland had no idea he’d be the last man standing on Sunday at Muirfield Village. But evidently, no reason, not even a life-altering victory, was enough to let down one of his teammates from Oklahoma State’s 2018 NCAA Championship-winning team.
Bauchou hasn’t had Hovland’s success after they (along with Wolff) left OSU to turn pro in the summer of 2019. Bauchou, the current World No. 1859, doesn’t hold any status on the PGA or Korn Ferry Tours. His last PGA Tour start came in April at the Mexico Open but resulted in a missed cut.
Bauchou’s career at Oklahoma State ended unceremoniously when his semifinal match at the 2019 NCAA Championships came down to extra holes against Texas’ Steven Chervony. Bauchou’s three-footer to extend the match on the first extra hole spun 180 degrees around the hole and out to eliminate Oklahoma State.
But there’s a chance to erase some of those bad memories in Columbus on Monday, particularly if Hovland can help Bauchou secure a spot at LACC. Then Bauchou’s attention will turn to finding a looper for the U.S. Open, because last we checked, Hovland already has plans that week.