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2019 U.S. Open: Viktor Hovland breaks Jack Nicklaus’ amateur record

Hovland is the first golfer since Matt Kuchar in 1998 to be low amateur in the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.

U.S. Open - Final Round Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Former Oklahoma State golf standout Viktor Hovland birded the 18th hole to finish a final round 67 for a four-day total of 280 (-4) on Sunday at Pebble Beach to earn low amateur honors with a new 72-hole record for an amateur in U.S. Open history.

Hovland beat 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus’ record that stood for 59 years. The Hogan Award winner Hovland is the first golfer since Matt Kuchar in 1998 to be low amateur in the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.

Hovland began championship Sunday at even par. He was bogeyless and had four birdies on the front, including a spectacular second shot from 204 yards over a cliff on the par four eighth hole to within 3 feet of the cup for a tap-in to reach four under.

The consensus of Pebble Beach is to score low on the first seven holes and survive the rest. Hovland’s fast start on the easier side of the course put him in good position to hold on to his lead for low amateur on the back nine. He bogeyed the 12th and 17th, but responded each time with birdies on 15th and 18th to hold his score of four under and beat Stanford’s Brandon Wu by five shots for low amateur.

Hovland, the Big 12 player of the year, will make his professional debut Thursday at the Traveler’s Championship at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut, alongside his OSU teammate and NCAA individual national champion Matthew Wolff.