Hovland, Masters low am, scores seat by Woods in Butler cabin
Viktor Hovland (Oklahoma State Athletics photo)
As Jim Nantz began the traditional post-Masters ceremony in Butler cabin on Sunday afternoon, Viktor Hovland and Tiger Woods were chatting like old friends. What a day to be low amateur at the Masters, and have a front seat to history.
Oklahoma State junior Hovland was among four amateurs to make the cut at Augusta National, and at 3 under, earned low-amateur honors by one shot over Alvaro Ortiz, the Latin America Amateur winner. An amateur has not finished under par at the Masters since Hideki Matsuyama (1 under) did it in 2011. Before that, Ryan Moore finished at 1 under in 2005.
“I can’t be much happier than I am right now and it feels great to have coach (Alan Bratton) on the bag,” Hovland said from Butler cabin. “He’s seen me play a lot and he’s caddied out here before, so he really did a nice job of making me feel comfortable out here. I could have been a mess out there. He really made me relax.”
Bratton also caddied for Hovland at the U.S. Amateur, the event that earned him the Masters invitation. Interestingly, the team played without both men this weekend at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, the last regular-season event before the Big 12 Championship later this month. The team finished fourth.
Hovland has won three stroke-play titles this college season, and is the No. 1-ranked player in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Rankings
. He is the fourth Oklahoma State player to be the low amateur at the Masters, and is also the first Norwegian to ever play in the Masters.
After Augusta, it will be a quick trip back to Stillwater, Okla.
“Back to school tomorrow and grind it out and try to get the repeat at nationals,” Hovland said of his immediate plans.
After Ortiz at 2 under, UCLA sophomore Devon Bling had the next-best finish. He was solo 55th at 3 over. Takumi Kanaya backed up a third-round 68 with a final-round 78 to finish the week at 5 over and tied for 58th.
ABOUT THE The Masters
One of Golf's four professional majors
traditionally invites amateurs who have reached
finals of the US Amateur, or won the British
the US Mid Amateur. Also included are
the winners of the relatively new Asia Pacific
and Latin American Amateur.
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