Norway’s young and highly promising golfer Viktor Hovland shocked players and spectators alike at the US Open at Pebble Beach over the weekend, when he ended the prestigious tournament four under par. He broke the record for an amateur set in 1960 by none other than gold legend Jack Nicklaus.
“I didn’t know that, but it’s quite cool,” the 21-year-old Hovland from Ekeberg in Oslo told Norsk Golf. He wound up with the best amateur performance ever at the US Open, and on an oceanfront course known for being difficult.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) noted how that also made Hovland “historic.” No amateur golfer has ever finished the four rounds of 18 holes with fewer strokes in the US Open since it adopted its current format in 1898. Nicklaus shot a record 282 in his time, while Hovland finished the tournament with 280.
As of Monday, Hovland’s amateur status was over. Now he’s gone pro, can receive winnings in the form of payments and is free to sign sponsor contracts. “This will be his vocation now, his job,” said former golf pro Marius Thorp told NRK. “It’s kind of like finishing your formal education.”