Hero World Challenge 2022 rankings, results: Viktor Hovland leads alone after round 2

Albany fights back as the highest 36-hole lead in tournament history was surrendered at halftime in the 2022 Hero World Challenge. While the previous seven editions of this tournament, held in the Bahamas, have shown birdies in heaps and half leads at double digits under par, this year is a stark contrast. Yet despite this change in the scoring environment, it is Viktor Hovland, the man who topped the rankings a year ago, who is in the same position after 36 holes.

The Norwegian, who signed for 2-under 70 on Friday, is at 5-under as he only moved slightly clear of a stacked leaderboard. With Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young just a shot behind Hovland, the 25-year-old admitted he expected better results despite the conditions.

“It was tough,” said Hovland. “We kind of crunch about every 3 or 4 feet out there, and they certainly don’t feel like gimmes. That wind just makes everything a little harder, even those easy chip shots, they’re not basic anymore. I still would have expected the scores to be a bit lower.

With the wind expected to hold up, world-class ball forwards should continue to push their way to the top of the leaderboard. PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, former World No. 1 Jon Rahm and red hot Tony Finau are just behind the first chasing group in a memorable Hero World Challenge to close out 2022.

the leader

1. Viktor Hovland (-5)

There were only three Eagles in the first two rounds and two of those belong to Hovland. Hovland almost got the par 4 at number 14 on Thursday, Hovland holed out on the par 5 at number 6 on Friday for his second place finish of the week. With a clear level of comfort upwind and on coastal golf courses, it’s no surprise his name takes first place in the rankings, even if it was his biggest critic after his second round.

“I’ve put in the fairway a lot but it’s kind of weird like I knew it was windy and I feel like I missed so many putts. And I still don’t feel like I’m hitting it as well as I’m not comfortable over the ball, but the ball is going straight and I’m looking at it,” said Hovland. “It just doesn’t feel that great and I’m missing a lot of putts and somehow we ended up at 2 under today so yeah I’m happy with that.”

Other contenders

T3. Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Young, Collin Morikawa (-4)

6.Tom Kim (-3)

7. Justin Thomas (-2)

T8. Billy Hörschel, Sepp Straka (-1)

T10. Matt Fitzpatrick, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau (E)

Not all motivations are created equal this week as some spend quality vacation time with their families while others put on a straight face. Put world No. 2 Scheffler in the latter category as the Texan has his eye on the prize in his second appearance at the Hero World Challenge. Just one shot behind, a win would put Scheffler back at the top of the golfing world – albeit temporarily, as Rory McIlroy will definitely end 2022 as world No. 1.

“I’m definitely not going to show up for 20th place or whatever. I’ve been training. I like training,” said Scheffler. “I took a nice break before we went to South Carolina. I was pretty exhausted after the FedExCup and then the Presidents Cup, so there was a period of about five, six weeks where I didn’t train too much. I still go out and play for fun and stuff, but not too much hard training. In the last month or two I’ve been coming up with it pretty decently.

A Tale of Two Nines for Tony Finau

At first glance, it was a bumpy round with an even par 72 for Finau. But on closer inspection, the contrast between his front nine and back nine couldn’t be more different. With five bogeys in his outer half, the four-time PGA Tour winner turned 4-over-40.

Finau, who drifted out of the top 15 of that 20-man field, found his stride home. With four birdies against zero drop shots on his last nine holes, Finau fought his way back to the same level for the tournament and with a small chance over the weekend.

2022 Hero World Challenge updated odds and tips

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Viktor Hovland: 4-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 4-1
  • Xander Schauffele: 4-1
  • Collin Morikawa: 7-1
  • Cameron Young: 7-1
  • Tom Kim: 11-1
  • Justin Thomas: 14-1
  • Jon Rahm: 18-1
  • Tony Finau: 28-1

It’s not often that three favorites go into a golf tournament weekend. While Hovland has the slight advantage, it is matched on the odds board by Scheffler and Schauffele. With so much golf still to play and conditions expected to continue, I don’t mind shooting at a few players in the chasing group. Justin Thomas at 14-1 is interesting given his ability to play upwind, and the same logic applies to Tony Finau at 28-1.

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