Tour Championship final rankings
-27 V Hovland (Nor); -22 X Schauffele (USA); – 16 W Clark (USA); -14 R McIlroy (NI)
Chosen: -11 T Fleetwood (eng), S Scheffler (USA); -10 M Fitzpatrick (meadow); -8 T Hatton (Meadow); -7 J Rahm (Spa)
Norway‘s Viktor Hovland shot a superb bogey-free seven-under-par 63 to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup title at East Lake in Atlanta.
Hovland led by six going into Sunday’s final round, but was pressured by Xander Schauffele, who shot a 62 and closed within three strokes with six to go.
However, Hovland bogeyed the last three holes to win by five shots on 27 under and collect $18m (£14.1m).
“It’s pretty surreal standing here right now,” he said.
“The game plan before the start was middle of the green, make a lot of pars and get Xander to come after it, which he did early, so I had to change my game plan a little bit.”
Hovland and Schauffele had equally quick starts, both picking up four birdies in their first six holes after a nearly two-hour delay due to lightning and heavy rain.
The American hit further birdies on the eighth, 11th and 12th holes to cut the deficit to three as Hovland missed his own chances but also holed some crucial par putts.
It looked like the world number five’s advantage may be further reduced on the 14th after he hit a poor chip, but he sensationally hit a 23-foot putt to save par.
“It was just huge for momentum because two shots with four holes left is a lot different than three shots,” he said.
“And after that I really relaxed.”
His fifth birdie of the day came on the 16th to end a run of nine pars, and he added two more on the 17th and 18th to secure his sixth PGA Tour win and the biggest victory of his career in the season-ending tournament .
Schauffele also had a bogey-free round as he finished at 22-under par to collect $6.5 million. the second prize from $75 million. the bonus pool. US Open champion Wyndham Clark finished third at 16 under.
World number one Scottie Scheffler, who started the week two shots ahead of Hovland at 10-under par to lead the FedEx Cup standings, had a disappointing week, finishing with a level-par 70 to finish at 11-under.
McIlroy’s back ‘close to 100%’
Three-time champion Rory McIlroy, who had been battling a back injury all week, closed with a five-under 65 to finish tied for fourth at 14-under par.
“As the week went on, it got looser and [on Sunday] it was pretty close to 100%,” the Northern Irishman said on Sky Sports.
“I wish I had felt like that the rest of the week, but even without a bad back I’m not sure I would have been able to hang with the two guys in front.”
The world number two suffered the injury at the start of the week while training, leading to initial concerns about his fitness for next month’s Ryder Cup.
However, McIlroy seemed unconcerned, adding: “My game is where it needs to be and as long as I stay healthy for the next few weeks I’m excited to get back to Europe, play in Ireland and Wentworth [in September’s BMW PGA Championship] and ultimately get my game in shape for the Ryder Cup.
“It will be nice to get everyone together, have some early team dinners before the week in Rome and feel the team chemistry already starting.
“There’s still a few weeks to go, but it’s the next big thing on all our calendars.”
The U.S. team will be finalized on Tuesday when captain Zach Johnson selects his six wild-card picks to add to six players who have already qualified.
Europe’s qualifying process concludes after this week’s European Masters in Switzerland, with Luke Donald naming his six captaincy picks on Monday 4 September.
The Ryder Cup takes place at the Marco Simone Golf Club, near Rome, from September 29 to October 1.