With three victories in the last five tournaments he has played, Viktor Hovland (24) has become a real winning machine. The Norwegian is now the world’s third best golfer.
Aftenposten collaborates with VG-sporten. Therefore, as an Aftenposten reader, you also get articles and services created by VG.
In June 2019, Viktor Hovland became a professional and the Norwegian played the same summer until a permanent place on the PGA Tour.
In February 2020, he took his first victory on the PGA Tour when he won the Puerto Rico Open, and since the start of 2020, there have been a total of six victories for Hovland in tournaments associated with the two largest tours in the world, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour ( previous European tour).
No player on the two tours has taken as many victories in that time. Closest are Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson, who both have five victories since 2020.
On the way to the victories, Hovland has made it a habit to come up with something very special. On Sunday, he joined the rematch for the victory in the Dubai Desert Classic after going four under par on the last three holes. There he decided with a birdie on the first try.
– To be completely honest, I am a little surprised by it myself, Hovland says to VG at a press conference after the victory.
He himself says that it was not something he remembers being good at in his younger days.
– Maybe it’s me who’s a little pessimistic and remembers the times I have “shit myself out”, quite simply. That I remember doing it a little more often than I actually did. I think it’s incredibly cool now that when I look back on the victories I’ve had, I’ve beaten some really good shots to win the tournament. It has not been that I have limped over the finish line. I have lowered a putt or hit a good shot the last few holes. It is a good experience I take with me further, says Hovland.
Sunday’s victory means that Hovland moves up to third place in the world rankings. Only Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa are ahead of the Norwegian, but in an interview shown on Viaplay right after the victory, he was still clear that he has a lot to prove if he is to go past the two and become world leaders.
– It’s about playing a bit like I have done now in the bigger tournaments. I’m very happy with what I’ve done so far, but Collin has won two majors and Jon Rahm won the US Open last year. They are still up there at the top week after week, so I still have a bit to work with, I feel, but I am well on my way, says Hovland.
The Norwegian has so far shared twelfth place as his best result from a major tournament.
Hovland was among the favorites to win the US Open last year, but then had to retire after an eye injury:
Sunday’s victory came with Peter Kaensche as caddy. The former golf professional, who is now a coach at NTG, was in Dubai in connection with a training camp and came into the absence of a corona-infected Shay Knight.
– Should Shay be worried about his job now?
– I do not think he has any reason to be afraid of his job. Peter did a very good job this week, but it will be good to get Shay back in the bag in a couple of weeks, says Hovland.