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The King of Kings match was played by the 30 strongest players of the PGA Tour season. Until the 72nd hole to determine the winner, "Norway Taekwondo Boy" Victor Hovlan calmly focused on his own game. And after making a successful champion putt, he roared with a clenched fist like Tiger Woods (USA).
In the fourth round of the Tour Championship, the final round of the PGA Tour playoffs (PO) held at East Lake GC (par 70) in Atlanta, Georgia, on the 28th (Korea time), Hoblan had a perfect game of catching seven birdies without bogeys. Hovlan, who recorded a total of 27-under 261, beat Xander Shopley of the U.S. by five strokes and became the hero of the $18 million bonus (about 23.8 billion won) given to the FedEx Cup champion.
Hoblan, who won the BMW Championship in the second round of the FedEx Cup playoffs earlier, won the championship for the second consecutive week and won $21.6 million (about 28.6 billion won) in prize money alone to finish the best season. In addition, he won consecutive championships against the world's best players, soaring to fourth place in the world rankings.
Hoblan, who finished second in the FedEx Cup, started with an 8-under-par "bonus stroke" and added a whopping 19-under-par for four days. There were 21 birdies and only two bogeys. It was a huge birdie show that could take third place even if he started the game last place without a bonus hit.
"I've played my best golf for the past two weeks," said Hoblan, who won his third win of the season and his sixth career. "It's hard to believe this moment." "It couldn't be better than this," he rejoiced.
Taekwondo is the key to not losing concentration despite the huge competition for the championship. Hovlan is famous as a "Taekwon boy" who has trained Taekwondo for as many as seven years since his first grade in elementary school and won a black belt. Hovlan always boasted, "Taekwon-do has helped strengthen mental strength."
Born in September 1997 and turning 26 next month, Hoblan is setting a record of "the first in Norwegian golf history" including winning the US Amateur Championship, No. 1 amateur world, winning the PGA Tour, and winning the FedEx Cup.
Xander Shoplay of the U.S. chased with eight birdies, but failed to surpass Hoblan, who was more perfect, and Scotty Schaeffler of the U.S., who entered the final match as No. 1 in the FedEx Cup rankings, finished tied for sixth this time after a come-from-behind defeat last year.
South Korean players, which accounted for 10 percent of the participating players, left regrets. Kim Si-woo and Kim Joo-hyung tied for 20th with a total of 6-under 276 strokes, earning $620,000 (about 820 million won), while Lim Sung-jae had to settle for $565,000 (about 750 million won) by finishing 24th with a total of 3-under 279.
Monday, August 28, 2023
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