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The curse is broken, people!

Some said it would never be done. Others said it couldn’t be done. On Sunday, Viktor Hovland proved them all wrong. Hovland shot 63-65 this past weekend to win the Mayakoba Golf Classic by one shot, putting an end to the famed Puerto Rico Curse. The 23-year-old birdied three of his final six holes—including the 72nd, where he made a clutch putt—to become the first past winner of the Puerto Rico Open to capture a PGA Tour title. A truly momentous occasion. Results

With his victory, Viktor Hovland moves to No. 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking. That means that he, Collin Morikawa (No. 7), and Matthew Wolff (No. 14) are all inside the top 15 of the OWGR just 15 months into their professional careers. It’s not often that we see one player move into the elite ranks of the PGA Tour immediately after graduating college, let alone a cohort of three. The trio now has five combined PGA Tour victories and one major.

Hovland, Morikawa, and Wolff are at the forefront of the growing crowd of elite young golfers. In total, 10 players aged 25 or younger made the cut in Mexico: Aaron Wise (2nd), Maverick McNealy (T-12), Joaquín Niemann (T-23), Andy Ogletree (T-46), Doug Ghim (T-46), Akshay Bhatia (T-52), Will Zalatoris (T-52), and amateurs Austin Eckroat (T-12) and Quade Cummins (T-67).

Even in this company, though, Hovland, Morikawa, and Wolff stand out. They’ve shown an ability not just to make cuts but to win. But will they sustain their excellence? Or will they be overtaken by the next crop of young talent? Only time will tell.

Trending upward

At the LPGA Volunteers of America Classic, the top female players were looking to find their form ahead of this week’s U.S. Women’s Open. In chilly weather outside of Dallas, veteran Angela Stanford shot the lowest round of the day on Sunday (67) to claim a two-shot victory. It’s Stanford’s seventh career LPGA Tour win but just her second since 2012. Results

Three top-20 players—So Yeon Ryu (T-2), Inbee Park (T-2), and Jin Young Ko (fifth)—finished in the top five at Old American Club. With 11 major championships between them, all three will have their eyes on the prize heading into the U.S. Women’s Open. Currently No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, Ko will play her first major of 2020 next week after opting out of the first three because of travel concerns.

Quick Hooks

We lost one of the greats this weekend. Peter Alliss, the English professional golfer and announcer, passed away at the age of 89 on Sunday. Of Alliss, BBC Director-General Tim Davie said, ”He captured golf’s drama with insight, wisdom, and humanity. He was a legendary commentator who brought the game to life for millions of us.”

Christiaan Bezuidenhout won for the second straight week on the European Tour. The South African won his home country’s national open by five shots and is now ranked No. 35 in the OWGR. Results

In this week’s other European Tour event, Frenchman Antoine Rozner outlasted European stalwarts Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Matt Wallace, and Andy Sullivan to win the Golf in Dubai Championship by two shots. Rozner shot a final-round 64 to notch his first victory on the Euro circuit. Results

A Sunday 63 was almost enough for Aaron Wise to catch Viktor Hovland at El Camaleon. The runner-up finish is Wise’s first top five since the 2019 Bermuda Championship.

Max Homa made 11 birdies over a 13-hole stretch this weekend. He finished T-12.

Nineteen-year-old Yealimi Noh finished T-2 at the Volunteers of America Classic, the second runner-up of her young career. Noh is in the top 60 of the Rolex Rankings and has two top-three finishes in her past six events.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Shotgun Start: When is a curse broken, Rickie vs. Brooks disappointment, Alliss appreciation 

This Monday episode begins with Viktor Hovland’s burying of the Puerto Rico Open curse. Or is it buried? Brendan tries to talk himself into the curse being still alive because of a non-continental U.S. win and many other illogical contortions about a fake curse. The two discuss the weekend that was at Mayakoba, including the soft course, Hovland’s admittance that he’s usually poor under pressure, Finaue’s flop, and JT’s Sunday stuck in neutral. Then they get to the early departures and 2020 ends of Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka, debating who had the more disappointing year between the two (judged against different standards, of course). Angela Stanford’s work on the LPGA is praised against the backdrop of a game, on all tours, that tends to favor the younger player. Cristie Kerr’s cart crash is also mentioned. The potential for Collin Morikawa to win the Race to Dubai, despite not yet playing on the European Tour, is discussed and panned. They wrap with news, which is mostly an appreciation segment on Peter Alliss, who died over the weekend. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

The Puerto Rico Curse is no longer the terrible gift that keeps on giving, but there are plenty of other gifts you can give this year! Grab a Fried Egg belt, key ring, or leash from our accessories section today!