Hovland’s ‘Eureka Moment’ Comes to Fruition at Masters

Viktor Hovland, 2023 Masters,(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Viktor Hovland, 2023 Masters,(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) /

If you tend to overthink your golf game, you’re in good company.

Ahead of his fourth Masters Tournament appearance, Viktor Hovland opened up about a turning point in his short game, a historically weaker facet of his golf career that he has not been anything short of critical of.

“I was too caught up in figuring out what I wanted to do with my hands and wrists where that wasn’t really the issue. I was tilting back a bit too much. “Once I saw what the best players are doing and how they chip well and I just tried to do the same, and it was kind of like a Eureka moment,” Hovland said.

(Side note: we can all feel much better about watching our favorite players swing on repeat to emulate the next day at the driving range).

Fast forward to the first day of the Masters and Hovland’s “Eureka Moment” was in full display to the Augusta National patrons.

On the par four 10th hole, Hovland found himself above the sand trap in what he would have previously described an “auto-bogey” zone. Instead, he delivered a replay-worthy highlight of a chip that would line him up to tap in for par.

After his round, Hovland spoke more on his short game and the improvements he made in order to see the kind of payoff he saw today.

"“I mean, don’t need to get fully nerdy about it, but basically the biggest part is that I’m not tilting back as much, and the biggest problem was that I’ve gotten too shallow with my chips, and that’s just kind of have to yank the hands forward and you get no loft.The first part was getting more on top of the ball, get some more angle of attack down, and now I can actually percent the loft in the way that I want. If I want to hit it high, if I want to hit it low, I can do that with my wrist now.” – Viktor Hovland"

The 25-year-old also shed some wisdom on the value of addressing faults in one’s game and the kind of delivery you can see because of it.

“I don’t care how good you hit it out here, you have to chip the ball. You have to have a short game. Especially on that back nine when I hit a lot of bad shots, to be honest, but I managed to keep myself in it by hitting some really nice chips and making some really nice putts.”

Viktor Hovland also saw some up-and-down action on the 14th hole.

Where he also managed to save par as a result of his short-game masterclass.

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On the day, he finished five for five when scrambling, an asset that allowed him to record his first round in the 60s as a pro.

Hovland will enter Friday’s round tied with Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka for first at 7 under.