PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico — Viktor Hovland won for the third time on the PGA Tour, this time without a clutch finish. The 24-year-old from Norway was too dominant to give anyone else a chance Sunday in the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.
Hovland seized control with three birdies on the front nine, and he never let Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas or anyone else get closer than three shots the rest of the way. He closed with a 4-under-par 67 and finished at 23-under-261 for a four-shot win over Mexico's Carlos Ortiz (66), making Hovland the first repeat winner since this resort and its El Camaleon course began hosting an event in 2007.
Hovland won last year with a birdie putt on the final hole for a one-shot victory, and he also made a birdie on his last hole when he won the Puerto Rico Open in 2020. Hovland made six birdies Sunday, but this time, for the final two hours everyone was playing for second as he posted a victory that will take him to No. 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
"I wish I could putt like I did today more often," said Hovland, who made 28 birdies in the tournament's 72 holes. "It was just a blast all week."
Thomas (69) was third at 18 under.
"I just didn't drive it well, didn't get off to a good enough start to really put any pressure on Viktor," Thomas said.
Scheffler (66) wound up another stroke back.
"Viktor's playing some good golf, so he's obviously going to be tough to catch," Scheffler said. "I had to make a few more birdies towards the end and wasn't able to do that."
Matthew Wolff, the 36-hole leader who fell out of the mix with a 74 in the third round, bounced back with a closing 65 to tie for fifth with Joaquin Niemann (66) at 16 under.
Chattanooga native Keith Mitchell (71) tied for 56th at 7 under.
Alker's big moment
BOCA RATON, Fla.— Steven Alker had to qualify for his first PGA Tour Champions event three months ago. He kept playing all the way to the Charles Schwab Cup final.
Alker capped his amazing run when he closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory in the TimberTech Championship, easily moving into the top 36 players who advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
"Golf's always about giving yourself chances and eventually it will happen," Alker said.
Locked in a duel with Jim Furyk on the back nine of the Old Course at Broken Sound, Alker holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to take the lead, then finished with a birdie he didn't need to win by two over Furyk (71) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (66).
"It always stings to finish second, I'll say that," Furyk said. "But I told him on the 18th green I was real happy for him. To come from really no status out here on the Champions Tour ... to now making the Tour Championship in only nine events, that's playing some good golf."
Alker won $305,000, pushing his total to $896,207 in nine tournaments since he qualified for the Boeing Classic in late August for his debut on the senior circuit.
That's more than the 50-year-old from New Zealand made in his entire career on the PGA Tour, which included only three full seasons as he toiled on the Australasian and European circuits and spent a fair bit of his time in the United States on what now is the Korn Ferry Tour.
He finished at 17-under 199 and moved from No. 46 to No. 22 in the Schwab Cup standings, which accounts for the last two years because time off from the pandemic led to a "super season" for the 50-and-older set.
Alker turned 50 on July 28 and two weeks later qualified for the Boeing Classic. He tied for seventh, which earned him a spot in the Ally Challenge the following week for being in the top 10. He finished third there, and four more top-10 results followed.
By the time Alker finally finished out of the top 10 — a tie for 16th in North Carolina — he was eligible for the postseason. And in the second of three events, he cashed in.
"I thought, 'Well, if I can come out and do some Mondays, Tuesdays, do some events and try to qualify and get some events under my belt, that would be great,'" he said. "To be standing here and talking to you guys with a win, it's amazing."
Bernhard Langer goes to the final event next week in Phoenix as the No. 1 seed, followed by Furyk, who could have at least closed the gap on the 64-year-old German by winning.