Viktor Hovland (24) has three strokes up to the lead before the last round of the big tournament in Abu Dhabi.
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Hovland is in the lead battle in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship before the last round, but had to see that the distance up to the lead grows on Saturday’s last hole.
Hovland had a three meter long putt for birdie, but ended up with a three-putt and went off the last hole of the course with a bogey. The putt for couples, from a few meters, went in the hole edge and out.
– It’s brutal lately there. Is it on the account a little too sloppy, perhaps, Viaplay commentator Joakim Mikkelsen asked after the Norwegian’s end.
Hovland himself shook his head, clearly given over the end. Thus, there was a round of 70 strokes, two strokes under par, which means that the Norwegian is three strokes behind the leader Scott Jamieson.
Shane Lowry and Thomas Pieters are the battle behind Jamieson, while Hovland is down to a shared fourth place.
Hovland started the tournament brilliantly with a round of 64 strokes, eight strokes under par, on Thursday. He was in second place after the first day, and in windy conditions during the second round he managed to stay up in the lead, despite a round of 74 strokes, two strokes over par. Before the third round, Hovland was in a split third, behind Scott Jamieson and James Morrison.
On Saturday he went out in a leader ball with the two Britons, and it was an even and solid day for the Norwegian. On the first nine holes there were two birdies, while he started the last half of the round with a bogey after a weak input on hole 10. He hit back with a birdie on the hole after, and followed up with a birdie on hole 15, but unfortunately for Hovland ended the round with a bogey on hole 18.
The tournament is the first tournament in the DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) for the year. This week’s tournament is among the biggest on the tour, as one of five tournaments that are part of the “Rolex Series” – a series of tournaments with higher prize money and more ranking points than regular tournaments on the DP World Tour. Also next week’s tournament, where Hovland will also participate, Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic is part of the «Rolex Series».
Hovland started the year with a shared 30th place in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but ended 2021 with a victory in the last two tournaments he played. On Sunday, he has the opportunity to take another victory, which in that case will be his second victory on the DP World Tour and by far the bigger of the two. Last summer, Hovland won the BMW International Open in Germany, and then became the first Norwegian to win the European tour.
PS! The final round of the tournament will be broadcast from 08.00 on Viaplay and Vsport Golf.