Viktor Hovland needs to shoot 3 under par or better Thursday at the CJ Cup to set a new PGA Tour record.
The former Oklahoma State star is riding a streak of 17 consecutive Tour rounds in the 60s, matching the mark set by Bob Estes in 2001.
Hovland’s run began with a 64 in the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic on June 30 and has extended through his closing 64 at the season-opening Greenbrier in mid-September. (Since then he has played only once, in Europe, where he tied for 11th at the BMW PGA.)
During his record-tying streak, Hovland has finished no worse than 16th and posted a 66.59 scoring average. Estes’ scoring average during that stretch in 2001 was 67.29, with no finish worse than eighth.
In just two years, the CJ Cup has seen a wide variety of scoring. During the inaugural edition in 2017, Justin Thomas battled windy conditions and won in a playoff at 9 under par. Last year’s tournament was also plagued by wind; after 54 holes, only one player, Brooks Koepka, was double-digits under par.
The Club at Nine Bridges is a par 72.
“The golf course can play so different just with how the conditions can be,” Thomas told reporters this week. “If it’s windy, it can be a difficult test and you really have to be smart, but if there’s not a lot of wind, you can make a lot of birdies. So you just have to take what the course gives you.”
Weather conditions for the first round calls for partly-cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid-60s and a steady 10-15 mph wind. They could experience stronger gusts for the second round (in the 20-mph range), with the wind leveling off over the weekend.
Hovland’s bid for history begins at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, alongside Cameron Smith and Hyungjoon Lee.