THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect-LinkedIn/Facebook/Instagram.
THE 2023 BMW CHAMPIONSHIP is in the garage, and Victor Hovland has left with the trophy and winners check, and is off to Atlanta for this coming weeks PGA Tour Championship.
The final round started with leaders Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick heading out together in the final pairing. But six holes later nothing had changed but the scorecards, as both players had made three birdies and no bogeys.
But while Scheffler and Fitzpatrick were fighting it out, when it came to the back nine it was Hovland who snuck-up behind both players, caught them and passed them. Hovland’s 9 under par 61-that included 10 birdies, was enough to break the course record yet again.
Max Homa set a new record on Friday with a 62, breaking the record set by Rickie Fowler and Thomas Detry while playing in the Fighting Illini Classic. Vijay Singh’s course record came during the second round of the 2003 U.S. Open (won by Jim Furyk).
Hovland had three birdies on the front nine, but none over the last four holes. Because of Hovland’s lone bogey of the day on the par-4 7th. Hovland shot a 1 over par score over the last four holes. Plus he was only even par through the last six holes on the front side.
SO WHAT HOVLAND told himself at the turn must have kicked in immediately. Because birdies on 10-11-12 ignited the charge to the winners circle.
Scheffler seemed in control after birdies on holes 12-13. But he played the last five holes in one over par, and could not pull away. Fitzpatrick was always looming, but a bogey five on the par 4-17th hole finished his chances.
RORY MCILROY was in the hunt again, but he could not pull out a victory. McIlroy seemed to play as many holes out of the rough, as did from the fairway. His putting seemed shaky at times, when he missed a few putts inside of ten feet. During his media briefing, McIlroy said he would go home for a few days, and consider one of his TaylorMade Spider Putters for next week in Atlanta.
SEPP STRAKA-Jordan Spieth, Tyrell Hatton and Chris Kirk all thought they might be out of the Top 30 for next week. All had late round errors that could have cost them. Hatton clipped the lip of a bunker on 18 and fired his club so hard to the ground, that it almost bounced back to hit him in the face.
Sahith Theegala and Justin Rose were the first two players out of the tour championship, finishing in places 31 and 32. Scheffler will got Atlanta as the top seed, with Hovland at number two. McIlroy will be third, Jon Rahm is fourth and Lucas Glover is fifth.
AN ESTIMATED ATTENDANCE had Sundays number at 30,000, in spite of temperatures that reached 92 degrees. The heat index reached 116 degrees.
The 2024 BMW Championship will be played at former PGA Tour site, Castle Pines in Colorado. This will begin a four year run of the championship being player out of the Chicago area. Tim Cronin of the Illinois Golfer, during an interview with WGA CEO John Kaczkowski on Sunday morning, learned that the WGA is looking at a return to the Chicago area in 2028.
THE GOG BLOG RETURN with pictures and interviews for this story later today. RS