Viktor Hovland gets hot, leads Tour Championship with Collin Morikawa

Viktor Hovland gets hot, leads Tour Championship with Collin Morikawa

Aug 24, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Viktor Hovland tees off on the 16th hole during the first round of the TOUR Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club.
Image: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Viktor Hovland rang up four birdies in a row during his back nine and tied Collin Morikawa for the second-round lead at the Tour Championship on Friday in Atlanta.

Hovland shot a 6-under 64 to get to 16 under par, capitalizing on his second-place starting position Thursday as part of the season finale’s staggered scoring format.

Hovland joined — then broke — a tie for the lead with Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa Friday afternoon when he holed birdie putts at Nos. 12-15, the last two coming from 15 1/2 and 12 feet away. He made his seventh and final birdie of the day at No. 17 for good measure.

He and Morikawa now head to the weekend leading Scheffler by two strokes.

Considered a rising star on the PGA Tour, the 25-year-old from Norway has yet to win a major but fired a final-round 61 last Sunday to win the BMW Championship, the second leg of the three-week FedEx Cup playoffs. Another win this week would cement Hovland’s place in golf’s elite echelon.

Morikawa started the tournament nine shots back of Scheffler before opening with a 61. His birdie-birdie finish Friday allowed him to catch up to Hovland, and he is the only player bogey-free through 36 holes.

Scheffler, who made a triple bogey during an opening-round 71 and forfeited the lead he began the week with, bounced back Friday with a bogey-free 65 to get to 14 under.

Keegan Bradley is fourth at 13 under following a 67. He fired a 63 Thursday to form a three-way lead after 18 holes with Hovland and Morikawa.

Xander Schauffele and Jon Rahm climbed the leaderboard to form a tie for fifth at 12 under. Schauffele, who won the Tour Championship in 2017 before its present format, shot his 26th straight round of par or better at East Lake with a bogey-free 64; Rahm, the Spanish star who began the week in fourth place, had a 65 with seven birdies.

Rory McIlroy is in seventh at 10 under following a second-round 67. The Northern Irishman battled back pain on Thursday but appeared to feel better Friday, as he went on to make four birdies and a single bogey.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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Anthony Barnett
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