Ryder Cup-kaptein Pádraig Harrington (50) explains why all his chosen ones are lying down after playing with Viktor Hovland (24) in the prestigious Ryder Cup this weekend.
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– Viktor is not just a brilliant player. His teammates also like the energy he carries with him on the golf course, Harrington told VG at a press conference ahead of the prestigious tournament.
Harrington recently said that the entire team wanted to play Hovland on a podcast with Sky Sports. The Ryder Cup between the US and Europe is played at the Whistling Straits field in Haven, Wisconsin, 24-26. September.
– Everyone looks at Viktor and sees the young commitment that the rest of us once had. That is why he is such an attractive companion for the whole team, both for foursome and for fourball. Hovland gives us plenty of opportunities, that’s for sure, Harrington told VG at a press conference leading up to the prestigious tournament.
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The tournament consists of team games, two and two together in four different competitions, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, it ends with the 12 players from each team meeting in decisive singles matches. Captain Harrington’s job is to build the Europe team.
When asked by VG’s if Hovland can play all five games, Harrington has no doubts:
– Of course he can!
Hovland forms the European team together with Paul Casey, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Sergio García, Shane Lorwy and Ian Poulter.
World number one Rahm also praises Hovland, who will be the first Norwegian golfer in the Ryder Cup.
– It’s a ball hitting machine. It is a good trait in golf. He is a good player, who has arrived early. He’s got a full set, says Rahm.
Rory McIlroy has won four major tournaments. He is also full of admiration for Hovland.
– He is a fantastic player, and I think there are several guys lined up for the opportunity to play as a team with him the first few days, McIlroy says according to the PGA website.
Hovland has not gone to Captain Harrington to claim with whom he wants to form a duo, and points out that he himself is a “newbie”, that is, with whom for the first time.
– I think it would have been great to play with a couple on the team, but I don’t really know how it works. It is not like that ‘he here shall I play with. “I am quite flexible. We just have to find the best solution for the team, Hovland said at a press conference in early September.
The Ryder Cup will be a tough task for Europe against the United States. Eight of the top ten in the world rankings are Americans. It will also be played on a long court, with the Americans hitting the longest on average.
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– There is no doubt that the United States has many highly ranked players who are doing well. In addition, they play at home with the American lineup and fans. It helps them, but there is a game of matches and a lot can happen, Hovland said.
The norwegian is himself ranked number 14 in the world. In front of him are ten Americans.
Europe has performed better in the Ryder Cup in recent tournaments, winning nine of the last twelve editions.
– It’s going to be a shitty cult, said Hovland.
Team USA at the Ryder Cup consists of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Cantlay, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, Jordan Spieth, Scottie Scheffler, Daniel Berger and Harris English.