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April 8, 2021

Viktor Hovland

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes

Q. Okay, can you just walk us through the round?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Got off to a bad start with the triple there. Was a bad tee shot, but should have been able to make at least, you know, a bogey or worst case double.

So got off to a bad start, but was able to make a nice birdie on 2 and 3. That kind of settled me a little bit.

Another nice putt on 6 and that got me back to even. The wind started picking up right as soon as we got to 8, and 8 played hard, 9 played tough, and 10, 11, 12 is always a hard stretch.

So should have been able to handle that stretch a little bit better, but bounced back with a nice birdie on 13 and a great par on 14; hit another great birdie on 15.

So, yeah, it was a pretty wild round of golf.

Q. Could you assess the different parts of your game today, how you felt?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: I mean, I felt like I drove it okay but I hit some bad drives and I got maximum punished for it. So I need to hit a couple drivers. It's just -- I feel like I'm hitting a lot of good shots; it's just you got to be so precise out here, and especially when the wind is swirling and the greens being so firm, you got to hit the exact right number, and you can hit a good shot but land it five, six steps too far and you're in a rough spot.

So you really just got to know your numbers.

Q. You mentioned being a wild round. How mentally challenging is it out there having those numbers that are going up and down all the time?

A. Yeah, it's more frustrating when you make a triple bogey in a major championship. You know you're not really going to be able to make that ground back up again.

Fortunately I was able to, but you just can't make big mistakes like that. A bogey here and there is fine because you're going to make up -- you're going to make some birdies.

Yeah, that's a little too interesting than I would've wanted.

Q. Do you take positives from the day though? I mean, such a rollercoaster, but 1-over still a pretty good score.

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, I think it's really fun to just look back to how I played some of these holes two years ago, how I'm able to draw it around a couple corners and how I'm able to hit 4-irons way up in the air from a side slope to get it to stop on the greens.

I couldn't do that two years ago. And I would say I'm overall a better putter. Just a lot more confident when I'm out here.

So that's just -- that's kind of the cool thing, just to look back at how far I've come since then.

Q. We were out at 7:30 yesterday morning. We saw Shea out on 13 pacing off what seemed like every yard of the hole. For your first professional round here and with him together, how did it go for you guys today where experience is important and you're both fresh?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, we're both fresh and still always learning. Even after the triple, I mean, we were -- it wasn't like everything was in shambles. We were still talking and having a good time.

Yeah, we were enjoying ourselves out there.

Q. Which lessons do you take from this round today on to tomorrow and hopefully the weekend?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, just kind of -- I mean, it's nothing really specific. It's just I feel like I've garnered some more information about where not to hit it, what up and downs are a little bit easier than others.

Then just kind of being able to, you know, still put a good swing on it and be aggressive in certain spots, but also knowing that when you're in a bad spot, don't try to push it.

Just get out of there. Make a bogey, and, yeah, just try to get out of there unscathed.

Q. I heard you had a speech at the amateur dinner last night. How did go?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: I thought it went all right. I was pretty nervous. I'm not really used to talking in front of a whole lot of people like that in that setting, but it was a cool experience.

Q. How tough are the up and downs, especially here when you got all the ebbs and flows?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, as I said earlier, it's a major championship, and you make a triple bogey it's hard to make three birdies right after it. I was able to do that today, which I was pretty happy with.

But that's not something that happens every time. So I would rather not make that triple bogey and just kind of, you know, get out of there with pars on every hole. That's kind of how you got to play it.

But that wasn't the case today. Lots of birdies, five birdies today and still shot 1-over, so going to have to make a few less mistakes.

Q. I know you haven't been here too many times, but Brooks and some other guys have been saying they've never seen greens like this, especially on a Thursday. Same greens for everybody, but how do you deal when they're this fast and firm already? What do you do?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: You just got to make sure you're erring on the right sides. It's very tempting to go for some of those pins, but you can hit a great shot -- like for example, on 5 today I hit a great 4-iron. Tried to hit a high cut into that pin on the right side and I landed it literally this far away from the hole.

I knew I had some paces behind the pin, so I thought it was going to stop. It didn't, and went all the way down over the green. Made a great up and down, but it's like -- it's not very far off from making a nice birdie there and then you're staring bogey in the eye.

Yeah, it's just tough.

Q. Could you sense that Brooks was struggling out there physically at all watching him play?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: I didn't pay too close attention, to be honest. Just from his swings it looked pretty solid. I mean, he drove it great today I thought. Pretty long and straight.

You know, I did notice that he sat down on a couple tee boxes. This course is pretty hilly and I sat down a couple times as well, so I don't know what to make of it.

Q. Have you ever had a physical injury you had to play through and did it change your expectations and free you up in some ways?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: A couple times, and I've actually done pretty well with kind of -- I wouldn't call them big injuries, but like I think we all il have small aches and pains.

Sometimes you just step up there and you just try to get through it. It kind of takes a little pressure off your back a little bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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