After the first 10 holes of the Workday Charity Open on Thursday, Viktor Hovland was 3 over par.
It seemed more likely that he’d miss the cut than work into in contention at Muirfield Village Golf Club. So he’s as surprised as anybody that he’s in the final group on Sunday.
Hovland shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday to put himself only two shots behind leader Justin Thomas at 14-under.
“It’s really cool to be in this position after that bad start,” Hovland said. “Because the past couple weeks I’ve had good first rounds and been up by the lead early on, but I’ve been kind of falling off. I’m really proud of how I was able to turn it around and play better and better every single day.”
Updates | Photos | Leaderboard | TV info | Tee times
The 22-year-old has had an impressive start to his pro career.
Last year, Hovland had 19 consecutive rounds in the 60s – the first PGA Tour player to have at least 18 straight sub-70 rounds since 1983. In February, he became the first player from Norway to win on the tour when he was victorious at the Puerto Rico Open.
But Hovland said self-confidence has been an issue for him. He took up golf at age 11 when his father brought him clubs from the United State after working in St. Louis as an engineer. Hovland practiced mostly at an indoor driving range in Oslo.
Even as he had success as a junior, he didn’t envision greatness in himself. He became a three-time All-American at Oklahoma State.
“I’ve kind of always naturally doubted myself a little bit,” Hovland said. “When I won the U.S. Amateur (in 2018 at Pebble Beach), that really kind of gave me the belief that I have something to do in this game.”
That has served as a springboard.
“I’ve been pretty happy with the spot that I’m in,” he said. “If you would have asked me just a year ago – I had my first pro start at Travelers last year – to already have a win and my tour card is pretty awesome.”
On Sunday, he has a chance for his second victory.
“You’ve just got to keep it simple,” Hovland said. “Don’t try and do anything that I don’t think I can do. Just hit the shots that I’m comfortable with. It’s a little bit of luck, as well. You’ve got to get the putts to go your way, and some bounces need to go your way. But if I can just hit good shots, that’s going to put me in a good position.”
By: Bill Rabinowitz
Title: Viktor Hovland finds himself in final group on Sunday at Workday
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/07/12/viktor-hovland-finds-himself-in-final-group-on-sunday-at-workday/
Published Date: Sun, 12 Jul 2020 13:00:51 +0000