home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 15, 2020

Viktor Hovland

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

CLARE BODEL: Viktor, welcome to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA. It's your first European Tour event of 2020, how have you made things so far? How has your week been so far?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, thanks for having me. I got here, or I flew to Dubai Thursday last week to practice out there for a couple days. I was really rusty being over in Norway for 2 1/2 weeks; didn't really touch a club.

So this week, I've just been trying to play some holes and trying to get back into it.

CLARE BODEL: Last year, you had a great year. You were low amateur at the Masters and the U.S. Open. You had a great start in your first professional start on The European Tour at Wentworth. Do you love these big events? You're here for the start of the Rolex Series in 2020, is it something that excites you, playing in these big events?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Well, I don't know, obviously it excites me, but I just try to do as well as I can. Fortunately, those bigger events usually they tighten up the fairways and the rough is a little thicker. I just think that's that suits my game, and that's probably why I've performed a little better at those events.

CLARE BODEL: And we saw some excellent wedge play from you last night as you won the Hero Challenge. Is that going to be the key to your game this week, do you think?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Unfortunately not. I don't think so. There's not a whole lot of wedges out there. But if I'm going to lay up, I'm going to lay up to 90 yards and hopefully take advantage of that distance.

Q. Were you knee deep in snow in Norway, or is that too much of a stereotype?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I wasn't really. It's really hot in Oslo where I'm from. So it's been like 6 degrees Celsius every day, so it's kind of miserable, really, because it's dark and just raining and wet. But I went up to my grandma, which is maybe eight hours up north, and they had a little bit more snow. A little mix of both.

Q. Are you becoming a big thing in Norway? Do people know who you are?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Definitely getting more attention, which is cool. But golf is not the biggest sport in Norway. It's still cross-country skiing and downhill skiing and ski-jumping and those things are definitely taking more of the interest from the Norwegian public.

Q. When are you going to come on Twitter and not be the Twitterless Viktor?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I don't know. I really don't feel like I need Twitter in my life right now. (Laughter) Maybe I'll reach the mid-life crisis like Phil just went into and we'll see.

Q. And secondly, can you tell us about your European Tour plans? Have you taken up a membership already on the Tour? How much is Ryder Cup in your mind right now?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, obviously I want to do what I can to make the team for Ryder Cup. But that's not what I'm thinking about every day when I wake up. I'm just trying to get better at golf.

Obviously I want to be eligible if that opportunity comes. But as of right now, I'm just playing this week, next week, and my schedule is very fluid. It can change in three weeks. It can change pretty quickly. As of right now, I'm just kind of taking every week as, yeah, just another week.

Q. You just mentioned that golf is not very big in Norway. Henrik Stenson said a couple of years back that his medal in the Olympic Games did a lot for golf back home. So if you get to the Olympics, as I'm sure you will, would that make a difference, and would that increase visibility of golf and do more for it in Norway?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Well, I think it helped in Sweden because Henrik did so well in the Olympics. Obviously we need to get there and hopefully do well. Maybe that would do something for golf in Norway.

It's hard to say. I know that because it's an Olympic sport now, higher up in Norway, they have to spend more money on golf to kind of help us improve, and the juniors that are coming behind us to help them improve, but other than that, I'm not really sure of the consequences of it. We'll just wait and see. Hopefully we do as well as we can, and yeah, it can help.

Q. You, Matt and Collin are the new generation, and a few years back we used to think of Jordan Spieth and all being the new generation, and you are three or four years younger. How do you see the position between the two of you and do you get to talk to each other often enough?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, it's crazy to be compared with that group of guys. I mean, obviously Collin and Matt, they have already won once, which is incredible.

Q. You won yesterday.
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I'm not counting that one yet.

It's still early. Jordan and Justin, those guys have accomplished so much. I'm not stressed out about it. I just try to do as well as I can and hopefully I can pick up my first win pretty soon. If not, I'm not going to be too disappointed about it. I'm just looking to try to get better and, yeah, do my thing.

Q. You mentioned obviously winter sports are that much bigger in Norway. I wonder if you grew up dreaming of the Winter Olympics rather than playing in the Olympic, and what was the catalyst for pushing you into golf rather than one of the other traditional sports?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Being a short, fat kid is not great for being on skis. Maybe downhill skiing, but I wasn't great for that, either.

No, when I was younger, I did soccer and Taekwondo, as well as golf, and when I was in 8th grade I think, I quit soccer and quit Taekwondo and I just wanted to play golf in the winter. I wanted to hit balls inside, because I would normally just take a hiatus from the game for four or five months.

Yeah, I started getting more and more friends playing golf, and that's just what I liked to do. Yeah, naturally just that became what it is.

Q. And do you have to avoid skiing pretty much all together now because of the risk of injury?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Not really. I don't like to do cross-country skiing. So that's not a problem. But downhill skiing is a lot of fun. I just haven't really had the opportunity to do it.

But I'm sure I'll do it one time. Maybe next year.

Q. One of our players from this region, Rayhan Thomas, is now a part of the OSU team. What is it about that last few years with the OSU team that has produced such players as you and Matt, and what can Rayhan expect to learn in these four years?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Well, hopefully -- it's a pretty cool thing that we can gather so many different kids from around the world to one place. We kind of, after a couple of years, we kind of all have the same pride about the school, and we think about Oklahoma State Golf in a very unique way. It's like an elite fraternity.

So hopefully he's kind of getting there with that mentality. But you know, especially for Rayhan, I would imagine he's a very good player. Being from over here, he probably doesn't have the same depth of competition as he would being in the United States, and just for him to get out of his comfort zone and to see a different place and compete at different courses, I think he's just going to become more versatile and just get comfortable competing and beating everyone hopefully.

Q. And I also wanted to ask you, in an interview, you said that your favorite food is Indian and you like to eat chicken tikkas. How did that come about?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I remember my second international event that I played as a junior, I was in Scotland and I played the European Boys' Team Championships. It was in 2013, and I remember, because there's a lot of Indians in England and Scotland. We weren't too big on just normal English pub food, so we just went into an Indian place and it was the best thing I've ever had.

Every time I'm in Scotland or England, or now even wherever, I could be in Moline, Illinois, and I'll be looking for an Indian place.

Q. Where was this in Scotland?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: It was -- we played at Murcar Links, so in Aberdeen.

CLARE BODEL: Thank you, everyone. Good luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297