viktor hovland tease

The golfer who drove above 4,000 miles throughout the US to participate in in tournaments

“I listen to metal, but I hear to type of a specific subgenre which is termed metal main,” Hovland instructed Shane O’Donoghue, host of CNN’s Residing Golfing present. “And it truly is generally some form of heavier stuff, a lot of screaming, but a good deal of melodic components and a great deal of great musicianship if you will.

“When I am driving by way of the night, I’m acquiring rather exhausted but it can be just about like I am in a trance and I just keep my playlist likely and I just get my head deep in the new music and quickly a few several hours fly by.”

Hitting the open highway

Like fellow PGA Tour gamers Rickie Fowler and Alex Noren, Hovland is 1 of the quite a few qualified golfers who attended Oklahoma Condition University and the Norwegian however lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Subsequent golf’s restart on June 11 soon after it really is enforced split simply because of Covid-19, the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Well worth, Texas was the very first possibility Hovland experienced to get again enjoying competitively.

And, due to the fact of the competition’s proximity to Oklahoma, the 22-calendar year-old concluded that driving there meant he failed to “have to get uncovered to the virus.” And from there, 1 road led to a further.

“I was wondering I’m enjoying the week soon after that, so then I’ve received to drive again up to Oklahoma once more and then catch a plane to South Carolina,” defined Hovland, whose vacation has created him a little bit of cult figure on the golf circuit.

“And then I was just contemplating: ‘What if … I just travel to all the gatherings?’ And I was like: ‘Oh, that could be a whole lot.’ But I made a decision not to think about it and just go and do it and enjoy the hrs of podcasts and songs.”

From Fort Worth, Hovland embarked on a 16-hour push to Hilton Head, South Carolina to enjoy in the RBC Heritage. He then stayed at the house of his caddie Shay Knight in Charleston, in advance of the two of them traveled to Hartford, Connecticut — a 13-hour jaunt — for the Tourists Championship

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A 12-hour drive to Detroit, Michigan for the Rocket Mortgage adopted, ahead of a three-hour vacation to Columbus, Ohio for the Memorial Tournament. Right after staying there for two months, it took Hovland 13 hrs to drive again to Stillwater.

The Norwegian’s highway trip — which was roughly above 4,000 miles in size — has been a way of making the journeys a “very little bit more memorable” for Hovland, despite the fact that he admits he’s now going to “give myself a very little split.”

“You happen to be so made use of to just packing the luggage, going to the airport, heading to the next cease and then just perform golfing. So I variety of appreciate those times, you might be in the center of Mississippi or Louisiana or Pennsylvania and you happen to be just form of going: ‘What on earth am I executing suitable now?’

“So it just type of would make it a minor little bit far more memorable, get some daily life ordeals and just combine it up a minor little bit.”

‘It’s pretty surreal’

Born and elevated in Oslo, Norway, Hovland picked up golf at the aged of four just after his father Harald returned from the US — the place he had been performing as an engineer — with some clubs for his son to apply with.

But, for the recent environment No. 31, observing clips of Tiger Woods on YouTube, specifically “that chip in during the 2005 Masters on 16,” was what seriously “propelled” Hovland’s enthusiasm for the video game.

Since relocating to the US, Hovland has long gone from energy to toughness, constantly breaking records together the way.

As an novice, he received the 2018 US Beginner at Pebble Beach — the 1st Norwegian to do so — which earned him a location at the Masters, US Open, and the Open Championship in 2019.

At that US Open up, Hovland completed tied for 12th and, with a 4-underneath overall of 280 in excess of 72 holes, broke Jack Nicklaus’ US Open up scoring whole file of 282 for an amateur he established in 1960.

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Given that turning professional in 2019, Hovland turned the very first participant from Norway to win on the PGA Tour with his victory at the Puerto Rico Open in February, 2020.

Hovland poses with the trophy after winning the Puerto Rico Open.

His results has intended that Hovland is currently being put in participating in groups with some of the largest names in golf. At the present-day Entire world Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational he was part of the same team as 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed and four-time main winner Brooks Koepka.

Lining up along with these greats of the match continue to feels “fairly surreal,” in accordance to Hovland.

“Increasing up, I would wake up early in the morning and observe the European Tour, even the Asian Tour and then at night, I would view the PGA Tour,” extra Hovland.

“I was looking at so substantially golfing and seeing all these names and then instantly I am hitting balls ideal future to them on the selection and even beating them in some scenarios.

“So that is rather outrageous, especially up in Norway, for the reason that some spots in the United States, if you happen to be a member at a definitely very good course, it is really not unusual for a random PGA Tour participant to just present up and practice.

“That in no way happens in Norway. So in a way you’re so detached from that as a truth. So to then to sort of be there a few of a long time afterwards becoming in that other fact, it really is fairly crazy.”

The road in advance

Hovland will before long be heading to San Francisco — by airplane somewhat than auto because of to the believed 31-hour push from Oklahoma to California — to acquire aspect in the PGA Championship for the initial time, which will be held August 6-9.

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Although competing at the majors is a significant phase up from typical PGA Tour gatherings — “they’re far more tricky tests, the programs are harder, greens are firmer and more quickly and the players are improved” explains Hovland — the Norwegian insists he is not just heading to make up the quantities.

“I might say if I am participating in good with my video game ideal now, I consider I can have a prospect to earn,” he stated.

But ahead of the rescheduled majors and the continuation of the PGA Tour, Hovland is just not putting pointless tension on himself by placing unrealistic plans, describing that the prospect to strengthen his recreation is his primary determination.

“To be honest with you, I will not truly like to set a complete great deal of ambitions. There’s a good deal of things I would like to do gain a major, play the Ryder Cup and do all these excellent matters,” he explained.

Hovland plays a shot during the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

“But I consider a large amount extra enjoyment in variety of seeing my video game just boost. So if I am standing on the selection and let us say I’m functioning on club head speed and I am 113-114 miles an hour persistently, and I just can not get previous that position and then I’m heading in the fitness center and I’m obtaining more robust, doing work on some complex stuff.

“And then let us say maybe a few months from now that one particular 113-114 is 117. And I am just type of acquiring much better, that provides me that form of sense of accomplishment and which is kind of how I get extra inspired to continue to keep on playing and enjoying.

“And I just take additional satisfaction from getting a far better golfer and then I try out to do that in a tournaments, but essentially the most enjoyment I have is just acquiring superior at golf.”

Be it using extensive driving trips or driving the ball straight and real on a golf course, Hovland’s early profession accomplishment indicates he could be owning a lot far more fun on his sporting journey.

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