Viktor Hovland defended his title in Mexico at the World Wide Technology Championship, using typically stellar iron play to go along with an improved short game to take the tournament by four shots over Carlos Ortiz.
In doing so Hovland shot a tournament-record 261, 23-under par on the par-71 El Camaleon course. Particularly impressive was a stretch that began after a double bogey on No. 1 during the second round in which he played the next 46 holes bogey free with 21 birdies during that span. Hovland’s play was a little more chopy down the stretch, with a couple of bogeys over the final nine, but a birdie on the par-4 17th in which he hit a Ping Glide Forged Pro gap wedge to set up one last birdie erased all doubt.
“I did not have my best stuff today,” Hovland said afterward. “Throughout the week I’ve been chipping it really good, getting it up and down . . . I’ve made some big strides [with that].”
Indeed, Hovland, never known as having a strong short game, ranked sixth in scrambling for the week with his Ping wedges as well as a Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks prototype lob wedge. That work around the greens made up for the rare times when Hovland was off target from the tee or fairway. He hit 41 of 56 fairways to rank T-4 in driving accuracy with his 9-degree Ping G425 LST driver and was T-7 in greens in regulation, hitting 55 of 72 greens (76.39 percent) with his Ping i210 irons. Interestingly, Hovland uses a Graphite Design DI 85x graphite hybrid shaft in his 3-iron but KBS Tour V steel shafts in the rest of his iron set.
An unconventional move, but Hovland ended the week with a familiar result.
What Viktor Hovland had in the bag at the 2021 World Wide Technology Championship:
Driver: Ping G425 LST (Fujikura Speeder 661 TX), 9 degrees