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February 5, 2021

Viktor Hovland

King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia

Royal Greens Golf and Country Club

Press Conference

STEVE TODD: Give us your thoughts on that round today.

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, I had a very nice start, birdieing the first hole and made another one a couple holes later and just gave myself really good chances early on. So I was in very good control of my game. And then the wind starting picking up and it started raining a little bit.

So the course played a lot longer, and you know, it was kind of a grind on a couple holes but I kind of managed to just hit it to 20, 25 feet a lot, and you're just going to two-putt a lot of those putts. So it was pretty solid, but need to get it a little closer tomorrow for some more birdies.

STEVE TODD: You were saying out there how you watched The Ryder Cup at Medinah and Poults holing all of those putts. Must have been pretty cool to play with him the first couple of rounds.

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, it's awesome. He's obviously a very passionate guy, and it's cool to see that passion come out, even though it's not a Ryder Cup. Yeah, I could just kind of picture him and even Danny Willett in kind of that environment. I'd love to maybe be in the same setting some day.

Q. Obviously the draw has not been exactly kind to you the last couple days. Are you the type that you just embrace what conditions you have out there and just get on with it, get the head down?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, it's a little unfortunate. Obviously the guys in the morning group yesterday, they shot pretty low. I mean, 9-under out there is good. I don't care what the conditions are. That's an amazing round.

But it definitely, definitely played a lot harder in the afternoon yesterday, and today, obviously, for an early morning tee time, it was windy from the start and some rain here and there. As of right now, it doesn't look like the draw was the best, but you don't know what's going to happen later in the day, and there's still two more rounds to go.

So I just knew if I just stick to my game plan and play well, I can still be competitive.

Q. You've made your mark on the PGA TOUR and done well in European Tour events. There's a long way to go and maybe not this week, but to win on The European Tour going forward, how big a goal is that for you?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, I grew up mainly watching The European Tour when I was young. Just kind of remembering all the players names, guys that I don't necessarily know what they look like but I remember watching them on TV when I was young, and it's cool to be playing in those events myself, and obviously having gotten a couple wins in the States I feel that's one thing that's missing, to get a European Tour event win on my resumé.

Q. Your last time out on The European Tour, you finished third in due boy, a huge event with an incredible field, playing alongside Danny and Poults, another incredible field. Do those events bring out the best in you, when they have these world-class fields?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: That's a good question. I don't really know. I'd like to think so. Just kind of you tend to get a little sharper just playing with good players, because obviously you want to be competitive.

But yeah, I think we just had a very relaxed banter in the group and we just kept things fun and I think it was more that that helped me play better instead of just, you know, being that they are good players.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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