It took a little extra golf, but Viktor Hovland earned the biggest win of his young career on Sunday.
The 25-year-old former OSU star edged out Denny McCarthy in a one-hole playoff to take home the 2023 Memorial Tournament victory.
Hovland was one of 13 players within two shots of the three-way tie for the lead entering the final round at Muirfield Village Golf Club. His weekend-best 3-under 69 on Saturday set Hovland just one shot behind Rory McIlroy, Si Woo Kim and David Lipisky to start Sunday. Then in crunch time, Hovland was nails.
On 17, he made a 27-foot putt to pull within one shot of McCarthy.
While McCarthy had his first bogey of the day on 18, Hovland hit par setting up the playoff. Then he sealed the win.
The victory also comes with a big payday.
Hovland earned a $3.6 million prize for his troubles, slightly higher than Brooks Koepka’s $3.15M at the PGA Championship and John Rahm’s $3.24M check at The Masters. Hovland came into this weekend ranked 11th in PGA earnings on the year, just behind Rory McIlroy. This win will push him easily into the Top 10.
Two weeks ago, Hovland finished two strokes short of Koepka, who hoisted the PGA Championship trophy. While I’m sure he would rather have the major win in his bag, a bigger payday is more than a small consolation.
Most importantly, Hovland is playing some really good golf heading into the final major of the year.
The Memorial is the penultimate PGA-designated event of the season with the U.S. Open coming up June 15-18 at the Los Angeles Country Club. In his last three majors, Hovland has finished T4th in the 2022 Open Championship, T7th in the 2023 Masters and T2nd in the 2023 PGA.