Hovland highlights prime time field for Oak Tree National Pro-Scratch Invitational

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By Ken MacLeod

Fresh off winning the FedEx Cup Championship and leading Europe to a smashing Ryder Cup victory, when will Viktor Hovland make his competitive return to golf?

Turns out it’s next Thursday and Friday in the Oak Tree National Pro-Scratch Invitational, which this year boasts probably the most spectacular field in its history.

Not only will Hovland be teeing it up in this two-day competition, he’ll be joined by  PGA Tour members Taylor Moore, Austin Eckroat, Max McGreevy, Robert Streb and Sam Stevens, as well as 2024 PGA Tour rookies Kevin Dougherty, Chris Gotterup and Scott Gutschewski.

From LIV Golf will be Charles Howell III, Peter Uihlein and Matthew Wolff. From the Korn Ferry Tour there is Quade Cummins, Logan McAllister, Josh Creel, Rhein Gibson, Tom Whitney and Michael Gellerman. Among those working their way up in the pro ranks are Blaine Hale, Matt Mabry, Tyson Reeder, Zach Bauchou, Jonathan Brightwell, Jared Strathe and Charlie Saxon.

Besides Hovland’s spectacular year, Gibson, Dougherty and Gutschewski each won this year on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Ryan Munson, who is serving as unofficial tournament chairman and worked on putting the field together, said it was by far the best field in the history of the event dating back to 2010 and was a reflection of the incredible talent in the current membership at Oak Tree National.

Trophies left to right, Memorial, Fed-Ex Cup, BMW.

The winner of the event pockets $12.5 thousand out of a $30,000 purse, so obviously not the main motivating factor for many of the pros.

“It’s the camaraderie,” said Munson, who will team with Creel as the amateur on one of the teams.  “And this event speaks volumes about the level of golf that is being played at Oak Tree National. From the PGA Tour to LIV to the Korn Ferry to the mini-tours, the membership and friends is amazing. And right now with its new greens Oak Tree National looks and is playing better than it ever has.”

The tournament, which is not open to the public, will be Hovland’s first post Ryder Cup event. He closed the 2023 PGA Tour season by winning the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship back-to-back and also won The Memorial and tied for second in the PGA Championship in a breakout year that has seen him rise to No. 4 in the Official World Golf Rankings behind Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. He still resides in Stillwater but has been an Oak Tree National member for several years. His trophies from the Tour Championship, BMW and The Memorial are currently on display in the OTN clubhouse.

For this event he is teamed with former Oklahoma State golfer Ian Davis, the 2022 Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur Champion who this summer reached the match play competition in the U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Oak Tree member Talor Gooch, who last week won LIV Season long points race cashing an $18 million dollar bonus check, has won this event three times previously is unable to play due to a prior commitment.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source