Viktor Hovland still has room for improvement as far as finishing off major championships, but the young Norwegian deserves credit for top-10s in each of the last two.
He finished T-4th playing in the final pairing at last year’s Open Championship and earned T-7th at this year’s Masters playing in the penultimate pairing.
Hovland jumped out to the 18-hole co-lead at Augusta National after a 7-under 65. He hung around par the next three days to finish 73-70-74 in cold, wet conditions.
Now, the Oklahoma State alum arrives at the RBC Heritage for the second time.
Hovland’s Harbour Town debut came in 2020 when he posted 65-71-68-66 (-14) for T-21st. He holed out from around 30 yards for an eagle on the ninth hole in round one.
The 25-year-old is seeking his first official win of the 2022-23 PGA Tour season, though he did win the exhibition Hero World Challenge in December for the second consecutive year.
He does have three official career wins. A fourth this week would be the best of the bunch.
Hovland has quietly been playing well in recent weeks along with his high finish at the Masters. He’s on a streak of 11 straight stroke play cuts made worldwide dating back to July.
Hovland’s last four stroke play events have all been top-20s, including T-3rd at the Players Championship.
He ranks first on the PGA Tour this season in average approach proximity from the rough (34’8”). At a course where it’s hard to find the short grass, especially with driver, that’s a big asset.
Hovland still hits a lot of fairways, too. He’s 18th in driving accuracy (66.01%) while still producing top-50 power off the tee.
If Hovland can keep it together around the greens this week, I like his chances to get in the win column.