The cohosts of the GOLF.com podcast “The Drop Zone” call him the “Resort Golf King.” His several wins at resort courses across the world has proven this nickname fairly true.
Since turning pro in 2019, PGA Tour golfer, Viktor Hovland, has made quite an impression in both PGA tournaments and international events.
Sitting at number three in the World Golf rankings right now, Hovland has won three of his last five tournament starts. During the 2020 season, Hovland notched his first career win at the Puerto Rico Open. Later that season, he earned a top three finish in the Workday Charity Open and played in the final grouping with Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas. (During this tournament, he also co-led the field in birdies with 24.) Hovland had 7 top ten finishes on the PGA Tour during the 2021 season and made the cut to play on the weekend 22 out of the 24 times he started. He also finished as the runner-up in both the Farmers Insurance Open and the World Golf Championships–Workday Championship at The Concession.
This season, so far, Hovland won the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and the Hero World Challenge (although the latter is considered an ‘unofficial’ PGA tournament win, since it was not on the PGA Tour but an international tournament). On Jan. 30, Hovland secured a tight victory at the Dubai Desert Classic, beating Richard Bland in a playoff hole. Hovland seemed to be out of the contest, sitting four strokes back of the lead while approaching the 16th tee box. But the Norwegian kicked something into high gear, as he went on to score under par on his last four consecutive holes. He birdied hole 16, eagled the par-four hole 17 (with a two) and birdied hole 18 to take the clubhouse lead. All he had to do was wait. Hovland watched Rory McIlroy fail to secure not only a victory but force a three-way playoff. The Northern Irish star’s too-aggressive fairway wood tactic got him in trouble, landing him a spot in the water and out of the tournament playoff. Viktor Hovland’s long birdie putt on the playoff hole helped him clinch this close-call of a win…in style.
Hovland has talent. His powerful swing, energetic attitude and calm head make him one of the best players in the world right now. Some say he’s playing better than Spaniard Jon Rahm. However, Jon Rahm in the groove is a lot more dangerous than the young Viktor Hovland.
It might not be fair to say that Hovland is the best player in the world, but he sure is on fire. With three wins in three months, Hovland hopes to continue his hot streak and perhaps seek a major title along the way.
Sources: “The Drop Zone,” GOLF.com, PGA Tour