Viktor Hovland Looks to Build on Majors’ Consistency

Viktor Hovland, The 151st Open Championship, Royal Liverpool,(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Viktor Hovland, The 151st Open Championship, Royal Liverpool,(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) /

If there’s any truth to the old belief that being struck by bird droppings is a sign of good luck to come, Viktor Hovland may be experiencing a bit of that luck right now as he finished moving day at The Open Championship with a 66, currently sitting at T5.

Heading into Sunday’s final round, Viktor Hovland will be in contention for a Major for the third time this season, a quiet feat by the Norwegian who has yet to win one but his continuous solid performance gives nods to a win likely to come to fruition in the coming years.

Today, he posted just one bogey in the third round and racked up five birdies for his best round of the weekend, after finishing 1-under and 1-over in his first and second rounds.

Morning rain helped soften the greens to everyone’s advantage and Hovland’s ball striking was on full display; as well as a solid putting performance from the 25-year-old.

“I knew the conditions were out there and we could score, but I was very happy about not bogeying a single hole after [the second]. My putter heated up, so it was nice to take advantage of some of the nice iron shots that I hit in there,” Hovland said in his post-round conference.

Viktor Hovland has displayed consistency on Tour for a while.

Hovland’s last missed cut came over a year ago at the Scottish Open.

"“I feel like I’ve had a lot of good weeks the last year where I really haven’t felt like I’ve played amazing golf. I haven’t played where everything feels like — sometimes I’m maybe fighting a shot or trying to bunt something out there off the tee and not really swing as loose or free as I would have liked. To be able to put myself in position to win tournaments with not my “A” game, I think that’s been really cool.”"

He credits his improved short game, something he’s worked heavily on the past year with his new swing coach, Joseph Mayo, as a big reason for his newfound steady consistency.

“I think it’s been great to have someone that kind of conveys information like that, but also I’d say he’s helped me a lot mentally, too, just understanding tournament golf, tournament pressure,” Hovland shared.

He ranks 8th in strokes gained approach for The Open Championship and 3rd in tee to green. His ball striking prowess will put him in the penultimate group tomorrow; paired with Jon Rahm, who sits at solo third.

It will be the fourth time in the last five Majors that Viktor Hovland has made an appearance in either the final or penultimate group in the last round. In those last four Majors, Hovland has finished T2, T4, T7, and 19th.

To add to his impressive recent history at Major tournaments, of Hovland’s last six starts, 52.6% of his rounds have been in the 60s.

While he sits 7 back of leader Brian Harman, it would be a mistake to count him out in the race for the Claret Jug tomorrow.

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At the very least, the always likable (and fashionable) Hovland will have the chance to continue his impressive Major play and make another strong case that a win on the big stage may be on the near horizon.