The story was mud. And the star was nearly spotless.
During Saturday’s Hero World Challenge third round, Viktor Hovland birdied 3, 4 and 5, and 7, and 11, 12 and 13, and 15, 16 and 17. Ten circles in all, against two bogeys. On a day when the field was mired in muddy conditions — and the mud balls that cropped up from them — the event’s defending champion cruised.
After an eight-under 64 that gave him a 13-under total and a three-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round, Hovland said all of it was fun. Of course it was.
“I started — I missed probably like a 10-footer on the first hole and lipped out and I kind of thought, here we go again, but after that, it was a lot of putts that went in,” Hovland said. “You need that on a day like today, when the winds are down and you can be a little bit more aggressive. That’s the only way you can make that many birdies, so that was a lot of fun.”
Indeed. His reward is a final-round final pairing, at 12:40 p.m. with Scottie Scheffler, his closest pursuer, at three back. Five back of Hovland are Justin Thomas and Cameron Young, and they make up the penultimate pairing, at 12:29 p.m.
Below are the final-round tee times. TV coverage will begin at noon on Golf Channel, then it will turn over to NBC starting at 1 p.m.
2022 Hero World Challenge final-round tee times (All times ET)
Tee No. 1
11:01 a.m. — Corey Conners, Kevin Kisner
11:12 a.m. — Matt Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry
11:23 a.m. — Jordan Spieth, Max Homa
11:34 a.m. — Tom Kim, Tommy Fleetwood
11:45 a.m. — Sungjae Im, Billy Horschel
11:56 a.m. — Sam Burns, Tony Finau
12:07 p.m. — Jon Rahm, Sepp Straka
12:18 p.m. — Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele
12:29 p.m. — Justin Thomas, Cameron Young
12:40 p.m. — Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler
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