Viktor Hovland birdies the last to secure win in Mexico

Norwegian makes 12-foot putt on 18 to see off America’s Aaron Wise in Playa del Carmen

Viktor Hovland celebrates victory in the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Photograph: Alonso Cupul/EPA

Viktor Hovland celebrates victory in the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Photograph: Alonso Cupul/EPA

 

Viktor Hovland rolled in a nerve-jangling 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole to clinch victory at the Mayakoba Classic in rainy Playa del Carmen in Mexico on Sunday.

Hovland, who needed a long birdie putt at the last in February at the Puerto Rico Open when he became the first Norwegian to win a PGA Tour event, looked as cool as a fjord as he stepped up to put the finishing touch on a final round six-under 65 and notch his second career title.

The 23-year-old’s winning total of 20-under 264 at the El Camaleon Golf Club was one better than American Aaron Wise, who carded the joint best round of the day, a bogey-free eight-under 63.

“I don’t really feel I am honestly very good at those pressure situations, I mean I was shaking there in the end,” said Hovland. “I needed to make birdie on 18 and it just happened to go in.

“I don’t feel comfortable in those moments at all.”

Hovland began the day two off the pace and wasted no time joining overnight leader Argentine Emiliano Grillo at the top of the leaderboard with a run of three straight birdies from the second.

With another birdie on the sixth coupled with a Grillo bogey it was the Norwegian suddenly two shots clear of the field making the turn.

Ahead of Hovland, Wise was putting the pressure on with a string of three consecutive birdies from the 13th to reach the clubhouse with a share of the lead.

But Hovland would not buckle following up his only bogey of the round at the 12th with three more birdies, including one at 18 to cap a masterful effort.

“I was playing very solid all day, obviously the start was great, on the back I didn’t hit it as close as I did on the front,” said Hovland. “My golf was very steady today, it could have been a lot more stressful.”

Adam Long (67) and Tom Hoge (69) finished three back in a tie for third.

World number three Justin Thomas, who had moved into contention with a third round nine-under 62 to start the final day four behind, could not come close to producing a similar effort, signing for a 69 to finish six back of the winner.

Collated final round scores in the Mayakoba Golf Classic, El Camaleon GC Playa del Carmen, Mexico (USA) unless stated, par 71):

264 Viktor Hovland (Nor) 67 69 63 65

265 Aaron Wise 67 68 67 63

267 Adam Long 70 67 63 67, Tom Hoge 66 67 65 69

268 Lucas Glover 71 65 66 66, Billy Horschel 70 69 65 64, Harris English 69 70 66 63

269 Tony Finau 67 66 69 67, Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 67 69 67 66, Brendon Todd 67 69 67 66

270 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 66 64 68 72, Justin Thomas 72 67 62 69, Abraham Ancer (Mex) 72 67 65 66, Maverick McNealy 70 71 63 66, Max Homa 73 67 65 65, (a) Austin Eckroat 69 69 67 65

271 Steve Stricker 69 70 65 67, Patrick Rodgers 70 66 65 70, Corey Conners (Can) 71 66 68 66

272 Joel Dahmen 68 67 68 69, John Huh 70 67 70 65, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 69 70 67 66

273 Daniel Berger 69 70 67 67, Joaquin Niemann (Chi) 66 70 67 70, Vincent Whaley 71 66 69 67, Russell Knox (Sco) 65 69 68 71, Tyler Duncan 70 67 68 68, Charles Howell III 72 69 67 65, Bo Hoag 68 70 66 69

274 Christopher Baker 68 68 72 66, Brian Harman 70 69 66 69

275 Keegan Bradley 69 72 68 66, Patton Kizzire 72 68 71 64, Camilo Villegas (Col) 70 66 69 70, Brice Garnett 74 65 66 70, Kevin Streelman 69 71 71 64

276 Sung Kang (Kor) 70 70 69 67

277 Hank Lebioda 71 69 70 67, Nate Lashley 67 69 74 67

278 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 70 70 66 72, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 69 70 70 69, Brandon Hagy 69 70 69 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 71 68 69 70, Scott Piercy 70 70 68 70, Troy Merritt 70 68 73 67

279 Charley Hoffman 72 66 70 71, Chris Kirk 69 70 68 72, Kyle Stanley 68 67 72 72, Kyung Ju Choi (Kor) 70 70 69 70, Doug Ghim 71 69 71 68, Andy Ogletree 69 67 70 73

280 Rafael Campos (Dom) 72 68 69 71, Pat Perez 68 72 68 72, Sepp Straka (Aut) 73 68 67 72, Jason Dufner 69 68 70 73, Will Zalatoris 72 68 67 73, Kelly Kraft 70 71 71 68, Akshay Bhatia 67 69 70 74

281 Chase Seiffert 69 69 69 74, Mark Hubbard 71 67 69 74, Ryan Brehm 69 67 70 75, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 69 70 67 75

282 Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 72 69 73 68, Austin Cook 70 70 70 72

283 Ben Taylor (Eng) 72 69 72 70, J.J. Spaun 70 69 73 71

284 Hunter Mahan 68 69 73 74, (a) Quade Cummins 71 70 74 69

286 Michael Gellerman 70 70 72 74

287 Keith Mitchell 70 70 71 76

289 Harold Varner III 70 71 75 73

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