Hovland wonders what could have been after Oak Hill bunker mishap
ROCHESTER, New York : Viktor Hovland was locked in a tight final-round battle with Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship on Sunday but walked away wondering what might have been if not for one poor swing in a bunker that changed everything.
Hovland was standing in a bunker right of the 16th fairway and trailing Koepka by a shot when he took a swing at his ball and advanced it 17 feet before it plugged deep into the lip of the hazard, all but sinking his major hopes.
The Norwegian had to take a drop in gnarly rough on top of a mound framing the bunker from where he could not get to the green and, given an awkward stance, settled instead for getting the ball back on the fairway.
“Just didn’t get out of the bunker,” said Hovland. “Plugged in the lip and tried to get a drop and made a double-bogey.”
Hovland’s double-bogey en route to a closing two-under 68 left him two shots behind Koepka in a share of second place.
Despite failing short of the title, he did take comfort in having now finished among the top-10 in the last three majors.
“It sucks right now, but it is really cool to see that things are going the right direction,” said Hovland. “If I just keep taking care of my business, and just keep working on what I’ve been doing, I think we’re going to get one of these soon.”
Other than his bunker mishap, Hovland felt good about how he performed during the final round though wished he had made a couple of putts early on to put more heat on Koepka.
“First place is a lot better than tied for second, but it is fun to even just have a chance to been one of these,” said Hovland.
“Just making the cut and finishing 20th, you know, that’s – you haven’t played poorly but you’ve been a non-factor in the tournament. So to be in the last group, that was my second time and (I’ve) been in contention for three of these. That’s pretty cool.”