Humble Hovland smiles his way through the pain after a walk-off quadruple bogey

The Norwegian’s hopes of victory at the WGC-Workday Championship took a nosedive after needing eight swishes at his final hole but he took it with good grace

It was all going so well for Viktor Hovland after 35 holes of the WGC-Workday Championship.

The Norwegian had produced a stunning birdie blitz on the front nine of his second round at The Concession, picking up shots at 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 for five gains in a row.

And he was finishing strongly too. Another pair of par breakers at 7 and 8 elevated him to 7-under for the day and within touching distance of the lead.

Hovland probably thought another birdie was in reach when he flushed his tee-shot at his final hole, the 9th. But he'd given it too much juice and his ball kicked on and into a bunker.

Then the problems began.

For his second shot, the 23-year-old bladed his wedge towards a palmetto bush. Despite getting a clean connection from the ugly lie, he had no control and his third shot careered across the green and into a horrid position on the downslope of a bunker.

With his ball up against the lip, his chop out fourth scooted back across the green and into another bush.

Forced to take a drop this time and now playing six, his chip from a sandy lie to the green above him didn't have enough pace and rolled all the way back down the hill.

His seventh finally did hold the putting surface and he actually did well to hole a nine-foot putt for an eight.

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But did the likeable Hovland storm off? Nope, he did his bit in front of the press and even managed to smile his way through it.

Asked how he could still emerge with a positive attitude and flash a grin, the World No.14 replied: "It's maybe a defense mechanism a little bit. It was a good day, played very solid."

As for his final-hole calamity, he added: "Obviously, I did the one thing I can't do and blade my bunker shot over the green on the second shot.

"And then happen to hit a great shot out of the trees for my third shot and catch another bad break being up against the lip, and I should've almost hit backwards or done something else.

"The last thing I can do there is hit it back over the green. So definitely learned my lesson there.

"At the end of the day it was a 69 and I'm a few shots behind the lead, and I just need to kind of get off to a start that I did today and keep that going for the rest of the tournament."

Unfortunately, that interview was held before others finished fast. He finds himself now seven behind leader Brooks Koepka with 36 holes to play.

* Hovland is 80/1 with Paddy Power to win the WGC-Workday Championship

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