Hovland wins Silver Cup as low amateur at 83rd Masters
Viktor Hovland's journey to Augusta National started at Pebble Beach last August when the Oklahoma State star dominated on his way to a U.S. Amateur victory.
It ended Sunday, with the 21-year-old sitting alongside Tiger Woods and being interviewed by Jim Nantz in Butler Cabin. Hovland won the Silver Cup as the low amateur at the 83rd Masters, which will go down in history as one of the best ever played.
He had an impressive performance, shooting 72-71-71-71 to finish at 3-under par, edging Mexico's Alvaro Ortiz by a stroke for the honor.
He had Oklahoma State coach Alan Bratton on his bag this week. Bratton had caddied at Augusta twice before, for Oklahoma State players Peter Uihlein and Jordan Neibrugge.
"I can't be much happier than I am right now," said Hovland, who is the first Norwegian to play the Masters. "It was great to have coach on the bag. He kept me confident. I could have been a mess, but he made me relax."
Hovland went off the 10th tee at 7:30 a.m. with Charley Hoffman and Kyle Stanley because tournament organizers altered the schedule to avoid bad weather in the afternoon.
There was no scoreboard watching for the amateurs, who had no idea how the race for the Silver Cup was playing out. Ortiz, who also started his round on No. 10, had birdied No. 3 to tie Hovland at 3 under. Hovland took the lead back with a birdie at No. 7, where he said his approach to six feet below the hole was his best shot of the day.
"It was fairly solid for most of the day, I had a couple bad shots there at the end," said Hovland, who will rejoin his Oklahoma State team as the Cowboys try to defend their national title next month. "I had some good shots, but it was a little up and down. I threw away a lot of shots this week, so it’s nice to see my average, everyday game is good enough to have an acceptable finish out here."
Bratton said the week in Augusta was unforgettable, and he will caddie for Hovland again at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in June.
"It was awesome to be standing beside someone you care about at a venue like this," Bratton said. "It's so cool to go around Augusta National each day and appreciate the design and the way they set the course up. It’s a wonderful experience for all the amateurs to get to see that and hopefully that fuels them for what they are trying to do in the future, and when they get to come back they’ll have that experience."