Young star Hovland set for Korn Ferry Tour Finals
August 14, 2019
By Zephyr Melton , PGATOUR.COM
- August 14, 2019
- Kris Ventura and Viktor Hovland were college teammates at Oklahoma State. (Korn Ferry Tour)
Viktor Hovland took the golf world by storm this summer as he turned professional after a standout amateur career at Oklahoma State. Whether it was his double-pump driver swing, endearing and earnest interview presence, or flat out excellent play on the course, Hovland (along with college teammate Matthew Wolff and fellow amateur standout Collin Morikawa) always found himself in the headlines.
But when the PGA TOUR regular season came to a close, Hovland was the odd man out of the young trio of phenoms, falling 67 Points shy of the FedExCup Playoffs. He’ll have to earn his card via the three-event Finals, beginning this week with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.
Some argued Hovland should have been granted a TOUR card on an exception. Hovland played in five TOUR events this season before he turned pro, but because he was an amateur at the time, he was not awarded any FedExCup points for his finishes, including T32 at the Masters and T12 at the U.S. Open. If he were retroactively awarded the Points, he would have earned enough for a FedExCup berth and a TOUR card.
However, Hovland, true to his optimistic and cheery vibe, is taking it all in stride.
“I knew going in that most likely the way I had to make my PGA TOUR card was through the Korn Ferry (Tour) Finals,” Hovland said. “So I’m looking forward to getting off to a good start here at Scarlet.”
Hovland won’t be the first young talent to go the Korn Ferry Tour Finals route after falling short of a TOUR card the summer after turning pro. Five-time TOUR winner Bryson DeChambeau followed that blueprint in the summer of 2016 and promptly won the DAP Championship to secure his card.
The Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course might be one of the best places for Hovland to begin his quest to earn his PGA TOUR card. Last spring, Oklahoma State won its NCAA Regional at the site en route to an NCAA Championship. The former U.S. Amateur champion finished T7 at 1-under, one of three Cowboys in the top-10.
“The team won; I did OK,” said Hovland, modestly. “I’ve got some good memories out here.”
Lots has changed for Hovland since he last visited the Scarlet Course in his college days. But some things certainly have stayed the same, including Hovland’s incredible talent and abilities. Those will serve him well as he chases his first TOUR card over the next three weeks.
“I just look at it as another tournament,” Hovland said. “It wasn’t long ago that I played in college. It’s just another tournament and I’m going to try to do my best.”