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Viktor Hovland comes from six shots down in wild final round to win golf’s Hero World Challenge

Viktor Hovland of Norway poses celebrates after winning the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on Sunday in Nassau.Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Viktor Hovland made consecutive eagles and closed with consecutive bogeys while overcoming a six-shot deficit to win the Hero World Challenge on Sunday and keep Collin Morikawa from reaching No. 1 in the world. So wild was this final round of the year for golf’s elite that Morikawa, who started the day with a five-shot lead, wasn’t even a factor over the last hour at Albany Golf Club. Hovland closed with a 6-under 66 in his debut at a holiday event that was filled with pure chaos involving eagles and triple bogeys, none more bizarre than Jordan Spieth hitting his drive off the ninth tee from what was a new 17th tee for the final round. Just about everything did. Ultimately, this was about another 24-year-old star in the making adding to a big year. It just wasn’t the one so many expected. Morikawa, the British Open champion and first American to be No. 1 on the European Tour, missed three birdie chances from 10 feet or closer at the start of the round and then went sideways with two shots into the bushes at Nos. 4 and 6 that led to double bogeys and a 41 on the front nine. He closed with a 76 and tied for fifth. A victory would have made him the 25th player to reach No. 1 in the world since the ranking began in 1986. That still belongs to US Open champion Jon Rahm, who didn’t play this week. Hovland was among five players who had at least a share of the lead at some point. That changed on the reachable par-4 14th for more than just Hovland.

Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson docked for playing wrong tee

Jordan Spieth first almost went out of turn. Then he had his ball teed up a fraction ahead of the marker before Henrik Stenson pointed it out. Turns out that was the least of their problems on the ninth hole at the Hero World Challenge. They were playing from the 17th tee. To spice up the final round at Albany, the PGA Tour moved the tee box forward on the par-5 ninth hole to allow more players a chance to reach the green in two. They used the original ninth tee for the par-3 17th so the hole would play a little shorter and over the water. Both tee boxes had a large white sign indicating the hole. Spieth and Stenson didn’t notice ... Daniel van Tonder won the SA Open as fellow South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout secured a sixth-place finish to lock up a year-ending position in the world’s top 50 and a spot at next year’s Masters.


Oklahoma hires Brent Venables as coach

Brent Venables returns to Oklahoma, this time as the Sooners' new head coach.Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma hired Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as its head coach to replace Lincoln Riley, bringing back a former Sooners assistant with a long track record of success. Venables will be introduced Monday morning on the campus in Norman, the school said.The 50-year-old Venables was on Oklahoma’s staff under Bob Stoops as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. He was co-defensive coordinator when the Sooners won the 2000 national title. He left Oklahoma for Clemson in 2012 and won the Broyles Award in 2016 as the nation’s top assistant. He’s been on the staff of teams that have won three national titles and appeared in eight national championship games. “He knows the formula to win national championships and has the toughness, the attitude and the fight that I think will elevate our program in a lot of positive ways,” said Stoops, who has been serving as interim coach since Riley’s surprising departure last week for Southern California. “I’ve always loved his energy, excitement, and passion for the game — it clearly spills over to his players.” Venables, who will be a head coach for the first time, said in a statement he’s excited to add to the history of a program that’s won seven national titles and had seven Heisman Trophy winners. He also said he’s embracing the Sooners’ eventual move to the Southeastern Conference, which is set for 2025.



Daniil Medvedev ends Russia’s Davis Cup drought

Russia’s 15-year wait for a Davis Cup title ended after another clutch performance from Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev capped his amazing year with a 7-6 (7), 6-2 win over Marin Cilic in the second singles match to give Russia an insurmountable 2-0 lead over Croatia and its first Davis Cup title since 2006. It was the fifth consecutive straight-set victory in the Davis Cup for the No. 2 Medvedev, who three months ago defeated Novak Djokovic to win the US Open for his first Grand Slam title. Andrey Rublev earlier had beaten Borna Gojo in straight sets to put the Russians ahead at the Madrid Arena. Russia’s other Davis Cup title was in 2002. Croatia also was seeking its third title after triumphs in 2005 and 2018. The doubles, where Croatia has the top-ranked pair, were not played.



US sets world record at World Cup speedskating

The United States set a world record in winning the men’s team pursuit and the Netherlands swept the men’s 1,000 meters for the third straight speedskating World Cup. The . us team of Joey Mantia, Emery Lehman, and Casey Dawson won in 3 minutes, 34.47 seconds on the high-altitude ice at the Utah Olympic Oval, bettering the old mark of 3:34.68 set by the Netherlands in February 2020 on the same ice at the world single-distance championships. The US teamalso lowered the American record of 3:37.22 by Shani Davis, Brian Hansen, and Jonathan Kuck set in November 2013 at the Utah oval ...



The increasingly tense Formula One title fight between defending champion Lewis Hamilton and his formidable challenger, Max Verstappen, will head to the last race of the season with the fierce rivals level on points. Next weekend’s Abu Dhabi showdown will see Hamilton crowned for a record eighth time — or Verstappen win his first title. Hamilton’s nail-biting win at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was his third straight to pull him level with Verstappen on 369.5 points ... Pride captain Jillian Dempsey scored two goals and had an assist on another as Boston defeated Toronto, 8-2, to sweep the weekend series at Warrior Ice Arena. Goalie Katie Burt also had 36 saves ... Sofia Goggia captured a World Cup super-G to go 3 for 3 in races at Lake Louise. The 29-year-old Italian finished in 1 minute, 18.28 seconds on a cold day to beat Swiss racer Lara Gut-Behrami by 0.11 seconds ... Strong wind led to the cancellation of a men’s World Cup downhill race Sunday at Beaver Creek. It wasn’t immediately known when — or if — the downhill will be rescheduled.