(PEBBLE BEACH, California / August 19, 2018) – Oklahoma State’s Viktor Hovland joined an elite group of Cowboys on Sunday, notching a 6-and-5 U.S. Amateur Championship victory over UCLA’s Devon Bling at Pebble Beach Golf Links to become the fifth OSU player to capture one of golf’s most prestigious titles.
With his victory, Hovland joined Labron Harris, Jr. (1962), Bob Dickson (1967), Scott Verplank (1984) and Peter Uihlein (2010) as Cowboys to have hoisted the Havemeyer Trophy.
“I remember the first time I came there and just looked at all the pictures on the wall, all the names. You see Charles Howell III, Pablo Martin, Peter Uihlein, Rickie, all those guys, and you win one tournament or you finish second and you play pretty good, and then you get back there and you look at their records, and you're like, oh, yeah, I probably shouldn't be thinking I'm -- like it brings you more down to earth,” Hovland said.
“But hopefully after winning this tournament I can kind of start building on that resumé, and yeah, get myself a picture on that wall.”
Additionally, the Oslo native became the first Norwegian to win the event.
Hovland was dominate all week, trailing for just one hole during his six matches and needing just 104 holes over the course of the week to secure the victory. His total matched Danny Lee (2008) for the fewest by a champion since 1979. He did not trail over his final 86 holes and won 44 of the 104 holes he played during the match play portion of the championship.
During Sunday’s morning session, Hovland took the opening hole with a par before Bling squared the match at the fourth. Hovland’s first birdie of the day came at the fourth when he hit a remarkable cliffside recovery to just three feet to move back in front.
The rising junior surged ahead with wins at Nos. 8-11 to take a 5-up lead. Bling answered with wins at the next two holes before Hovland regained momentum with victories at the 14th and 16th.
After Bling took the 17th, Hovland once again seized momentum heading into the break with a clutch par save at the 18th to remain 4 up.
During the afternoon round, Hovland took the opening hole to move back to a 5-up advantage. The two players halved the next seven holes before Bling rolled in a long birdie putt at the 27th hole.
Hovland would take the 29th and 30th holes before halving the 31st hole to close out the match.