Viktor Hovland continues to show improvement at the major championships. Is it his time to break through and win?
The Norwegian is certainly trending in that direction.
Hovland played his way into the final group on Sunday of last year’s Open Championship. He fizzled in the final round at St. Andrews, but it was surely a learning experience en route to his first Top-10 at a major, T-4th.
Hovland also took T-12th at the 2021 Open Championship at St. George’s.
The former Oklahoma State Cowboy hasn’t missed the Top 20 in the majors in 2023. He took T-7th at the Masters and pushed Brooks Koepka for about 16 holes on Sunday on the way to T-2nd at the PGA Championship. He didn’t have his best stuff last month at the U.S. Open, but he still battled his way to 19th at Los Angeles Country Club.
Hovland can also carry confidence from his win at the Memorial Tournament. He got it done at Muirfield Village against most of the big names who will be present this week at Hoylake.
This is Hovland’s first appearance at Royal Liverpool.
He got some links golf reps in last week at the Genesis Scottish Open where he finished T-25th. He shook off an opening 73 at The Renaissance Club by going 10 strokes lower the next day.
This was Hovland’s sixth straight Top-30 finish. He hasn’t missed a cut since the 2022 Scottish Open. His 22 straight times playing the weekend is the second-longest active streak on the PGA Tour.
Hovland is 13th on the PGA Tour in total strokes gained per round (1.448). He’s outside the Top 100 in SG around-the-green, but he’s been better in the majors. That part of the game wasn’t the problem last week as it was his highest statistical rank (13th).
Hovland was a player for several years who you expected to fade when things got tough. The metal music lover has built up some mettle and is now a guy you expect to have a chance deep into Sunday.
The former world-class amateur is right up there as a pro.