2021: Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa were two of the biggest stars of the college golf scene in America at the same time. Their journey through the ranks together continued when they both turned professional at the 2019 Travelers Championship and they faced each other in singles at the Ryder Cup. Morikawa had the better finish that week and having already won two major championships, he’s had the best time of it in the professional ranks. However, it was Hovland who came out on top in the Bahamas, capitalising on a Morikawa collapse to win by a single shot thanks to a stunning final round.
Morikawa was the story of the first three days. While several players found the relaxed atmosphere of the small field event was not conducive to playing their best golf, Morikawa steadily got better and better. Rounds of 68, 66 and 64 gave Morikawa a very handy five-shot lead over Brooks Koepka, with Hovland a further shot behind. However, his usually unflappable game fell apart in remarkable fashion.
Morikawa’s round of 76 and Koepka’s 74 opened the door for the chasing pack and it was Hovland who sprinted through. The Norwegian started his move with three consecutive birdies on the front nine. A bogey at 12 threatened to derail his challenge but a run of eagle-eagle-birdie from 14 to 16 gave him a big enough lead to win even with back to back bogeys on 17 and 18, not to mention a trophy presentation alongside tournament host Tiger Woods.