March 5, 2021
Bay Hill, Florida, USA
Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Q. Seven birdies, three bogeys here on Friday, what's your assessment of what you were able to do out there today?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, it was a little up-and-down, to be honest. Came off to a nice start and played the front nine really well, I thought. Started the back nine, I struggled a little bit, it's just hard holes. I mean, just hard to hit the fairway on 1 and No. 2 is a beast of a par-3. So made a couple of bogeys and a little disappointing bogey on the 4th hole, after having a 3-wood going for the green. But other than that it was pretty solid, it was a very nice finish to kind of end the day.
Q. Tied for 2nd, tied for 5th, tied for 2nd your previous three starts on the PGA TOUR. How would you describe the level and consistency you've put out there the last five or six weeks?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, it's been very fun. Obviously playing very good and I don't feel like I have that many holes in my game anymore, which is cool, because I missed plenty of greens out there today and I still shot 68, even made a bunker shot and got some really cool up-and-downs, which, walking from the fairway over to the rough wherever I was hitting from, after missing the green, I would have been anxious the whole way just walking up to the green. But now it's like, all right, I'll be all right, even if I make a bogey here I can birdie the next. So it's just a very relaxed kind of attitude.
Q. What's the work you've put in to try to eliminate those holes?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, it's a lot to get into, not that it's been super complicated, but just essentially getting more speed off the tee and just kind of knowing my movements, my alignments, what makes my shot pattern kind of work and what makes it doesn't work and I just need to kind of figure that out every single day.
I just have some checkpoints on the range that I go through and Aimpoint's really helped me read the greens better and just around the greens, finally using the bounce and opening up the face a little bit at least, so all that has just really helped me.
Q. How do you keep it going on the weekend?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, just kind of stick to what I have been doing. It's a boring answer, but been playing very well, it's easy to, if you get off to a bad start out here, you try to push and maybe take some lines that you probably shouldn't, so one thing is just being disciplined and just sticking to your game plan, because there's a lot of water out there and the rough is thick, so you just kind of got to play smart.
Q. I saw last week you said you weren't really a big fan of Florida golf courses. Is that starting to change now? Your first college win was on a Florida golf course.
VIKTOR HOVLAND: It was. I like the Floridian, I like that place. I mean there's plenty of good golf courses, but no, just kind of a lot of them it just feels kind of the same, it's all very flat, it's just kind of water and bunker, it all kind of looks the same. But I think the more I play those golf courses during tournaments you kind of start to get into a little different mindset and you start to appreciate the intricacies a little bit more.
Q. You said earlier this week that you have a buddy from Norway who is here. Who is that and what are you doing away from the course this week to kind of unwind?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, we grew up playing together back home and he's been over here playing some just practicing, getting ready to play some tournaments and he's been through some stuff, but he's back out playing and.
Q. This isn't Chris, is it?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: No, it's not. His name is Kevin Wright. He just had a major heart surgery, so luckily he's out here playing golf. But, yeah, we're just texted hanging out.
Q. I was texting someone who knows you pretty well who says you're pretty into war movies and popcorn right now. Is that -- what's -- what are you watching?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: That's, when I'm at home that's probably from Austin, right?
Q. Or somebody.
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah (laughing) so whenever I'm just at home I have been eating a lot of like shakes and just popcorn and just watch two, three movies every single night. I mean, that's basically what you end up doing when you live in Oklahoma.
Q. Does your game feel much different than it did the end of last year when you win Mayakoba or is it more a factor of the results starting to match when you felt was inside?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: It feels pretty similar to where I was at Mayakoba. That was kind of the beginning of where my game was starting to kind of settle in, if I can use that term. I would say even since then I've gotten maybe a little bit better around the greens, maybe a hair more speed, nothing significant, but just kind of feel more comfortable with what I was doing, even at Mayakoba it was new and I was kind of going through it -- it was working, but now I'm more comfortable with the changes.
Q. What's the mental key to kind of riding this hot streak of being in contention in the mix week-in and week-out?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, I mean it's, honestly, it's a lot easier when you're playing well, you just kind of let it all happen. The only thing is that you just can't be too frustrated when you make a couple bogeys or make a couple mistakes, just kind of get out of there as easily as possible and just trust that you're going to make enough birdies to keep up. It's a lot harder when you're not playing well and fighting to make cuts.
Q. It looks like weather might be a factor tomorrow, how, if at all will you maybe adjust your game plan for tomorrow based on the weather?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, I haven't looked at the forecast, but, I mean, I've just kind of, where I grew up, we used to play in a lot of bad weather and we had some bad weather earlier in the year, so I feel like I'll be able to adjust pretty quickly, it shouldn't be too much of a problem, but this course could play a lot harder than it is already.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports