Davis’ playoff birdie helps partner Hovland win again

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By Ken MacLeod

Viktor Hovland seemingly can’t lose, even if he needs a little help. And he got plenty of it from his amateur partner Ian Davis in the final round of the Oak Tree National Pro-Scratch Invitational Friday, including a 15-foot birdie putt from Davis on the second playoff hole to win the 36-hole event.

Davis’ curling birdie putt on the ninth hole capped a long day played in chilly north winds and gave Hovland victories in his last four events including the BMW Championship, the Tour Championship and the Ryder Cup.

Where does this one rank? “Way up there,” laughed Hovland, after the birdie edged his former Oklahoma State teammate and roommate Zach Bauchou and amateur Conrad Walcher.

Davis, also an Oklahoma State graduate, former professional and the 2022 Oklahoma State Amateur champion, combined with Hovland to shoot 6-under Friday, giving them a total of 8-under and matching Bauchou and Walcher, who shot rounds of 68-66.

Third place went to former Edmond North and current PGA Tour golfer Robert Streb with amateur Danny Mitchell. First-round leaders Taylor Moore (PGA Tour winner from Edmond Memorial)  and Trevor Stafford took fourth at 6-under (66-70).

Viktor Hovland and Ian Davis celebrate their victory in the Oak Tree National Pro-Scratch Invitational.

Hovland and Davis, after shooting just 2-under in strong south winds Thursday, birdied four holes on the front nine and added two birdies on the back nine in shooting the day’s low round of 65.

Also participating were brothers, left to right, Caleb and Cameron Meyers.

The event attracted an entertaining field of PGA Tour, LIV Golf, Korn Ferry Tour and other professionals along with many of the state’s top amateurs. For Hovland , Moore, Austin Eckroat and others who have their playing status secured for 2024, it was a lark while taking most of the fall off. For Streb, Max McGreevy and others who have work to do this fall to secure status for 2024, it was a fun break to play with and against friends.

To a man, the players praised the conditioning and stern test provided by Oak Tree National, which will host the U.S. Senior Open in 2027.


 

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Ken MacLeod

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