Viktor Hovland just won the Mayakoba Golf Classic with this walk-off birdie

viktor hovland

Viktor Hovland won his second career PGA Tour event at Mayakoba on Sunday.

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Viktor Hovland is a two-time PGA Tour winner.

The Norwegian 23-year-old capped off a final-round six-under 65 with a walk-off birdie to get to 20 under and seal the Mayakoba Golf Classic, the final PGA Tour event of the year.

Aaron Wise finished second alone at 19 under.

“I don’t really feel like I’m very good at those pressure situations,” Hovland said. “I was shaking there in the end — I thought I lost it after the second shot on 16 and made an awesome par there but missed a putt on 17 and knew I needed to make birdie on 18, and it just happened to go in. Yeah, don’t feel comfortable in those moments at all.”

You’d never have known by watching. Hovland made the turn with a two-shot lead and came back to the field with a bogey at No. 12, but he played plenty of clutch shots on the way home. He birdied 13 and 14, just missed a birdie putt at 15 and then made a wild up-and-down from a fairway bunker at No. 16.

As Hovland rolled in a five-footer for par at 16, Wise hit his approach shot close at No. 18, but just missed his own bid to get to 20 under. That opened the door for Hovland. He winced at impact but just found the fairway off the tee, setting up a 148-yard approach shot to a front pin. From there, it was just a matter of matching line with speed, and his eight-foot right-to-lefter found the center of the cup, sealing the victory.

The win is the biggest of Hovland’s young PGA Tour career; his other victory came at the opposite-field Puerto Rico Open earlier in 2020.

For much of the day, the tournament result hung in the balance.

Emiliano Grillo held the 54-hole lead but failed to keep up with the furious birdie pace set by the other contenders. He finished T8 after a final-round 72.

Justin Thomas had burst into contention with a Saturday 62 but failed to match that form on Sunday. His tournament hopes were doomed by a double bogey at the par-3 10th, and he faded to T12.

Tony Finau played his way into the hunt with a five-under 31 on the opening nine, but he stalled out with three bogeys on the back nine. He birdied No. 18 to finish T8.

The final few contenders standing included Adam Long and Tom Hoge, but a late bogey (Hoge at 16, Long at 17) doomed their chances. The pair finished T3 at 17 under.

Wise was proud of his play after a final-round 63 that matched the low score of the day. He made six birdies and an eagle and stayed bogey-free, narrowly missing a second victory of his own young career.

“Just really proud of myself,” Wise said after the round. “This has been an interesting week for me. I’ve played some incredible golf and I’ve also played some really bad golf and it all kind of mixed in there.”

But the day belonged to Hovland, who has immediately become one of the PGA Tour’s steadiest performers. He hasn’t missed a cut since the Honda Classic, the week after his win in Puerto Rico, and he’s shown that on weeks when his short game cooperates, he’s likely to contend.

The victory also served as a reminder that golf’s new wave isn’t just on the way — it’s here. Less than 18 months after turning pro alongside Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff, Hovland jumped to No. 15 in the world with his win — and he’s still the lowest-ranked of the trio. Morikawa is No. 7 and Wolff sits at 14.

That was the day’s biggest takeaway: There’s plenty more to come.

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/ The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.

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