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September 8, 2021

Viktor Hovland

Virginia Water, Surrey, England

Wentworth Golf Club

Press Conference

BRIONY CARLYON: We welcome Viktor Hovland, thank you for joining us. You've only been here once before, and just your thoughts at being back at Wentworth and what you're looking forward to this week.

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, I can't believe it's already been two years since I was last year. It's a beautiful place and the weather so far is unbelievable. Look forward to having a great championship.

BRIONY CARLYON: Just a word, as well, about your form and where you are at the moment. It's obviously been a busy year for you but a lot of success both in America and coming back over to Europe where possible. How is the game at?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, it's been a lot of traveling the last two or three months. Definitely feeling it just moving around all the different time zones, but I've been loving it, every second of it and I feel like my game is trending in the right direction.

Had a great week last week, and yeah, put a different set of irons in the bag which I played earlier in the year, and I had a great week with the irons. I feel like I'm still hitting the irons pretty good. If I can just hit the ball in the fairway I'm going to give myself a lot of chances to make birdie.

Q. Most of your good performances have been in America, some great performances, but you made a point to come over to Europe wherever you can, Dubai and here a couple of times. How important has that been in terms of The Ryder Cup and bonding with the other players just to get to know people?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, obviously it's a whole different world in the States when you play there every single week. So this feels more like home, what I've grown up with, and it's nice to see some of the players that I've been watching on TV for so long that are still here, and I get to talk to them, get to play with them, so that's great.

I just really enjoy travelling. So for me, it's just kind of the best of both worlds. I get to play in the United States where I live and then at the same time I get to travel to Dubai, England, Germany, all over the place. So it's been a cool experience.

Q. Among the Europeans, who have you got particularly friendly with, maybe the players that are going to be playing many Wisconsin, who is your pal, for instance?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: I wouldn't say I have a best friend on the team but definitely played some with Rory and Shane's been over in the States a lot the last few months, and see Lee Westwood a lot. Poults I played some practise rounds with. They are all really good guys, and I think we're going to have a blast in a couple weeks' time.

Q. Can I ask you about becoming the first Norwegian to play The Ryder Cup and what that means to you? On a list of top Norwegian sports stars, where do you think you would be on that list?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Obviously Ryder Cup is a big thing, and Norway doesn't have a very long-standing tradition in the event. So for me personally, it's going to be a huge honor to wave the Norwegian flag alongside the European flag. So it's going to be a cool experience. I talked to Robert Karlsson actually last night and we were talking about basically the same thing, and how many Swedes have played in The Ryder Cup and he's lifting names I haven't even heard of, which is pretty impressive. So it's about time that us Norwegians kind of try to keep up.

Yeah, it's a dream come true and it's going to be really, really cool.

Q. Current sports stars?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: To be honest I don't keep track too much. If someone does something great it pops up on my social media and I try to read a couple articles here and there, but I spend really long days on the golf course and I'm just tired at the end of the day and I just scroll through YouTube or watch some shows. I don't really keep track too much. But I wouldn't be obnoxious enough to put myself at the top. I know there's plenty of other talented superstars in Norway that are killing it, so it's cool to watch.

Q. How much does it mean to you to play in front of big crowds? I know you didn't play last year when they in front of no one. What are your feelings about the crowd?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah in, amateur golf which wasn't a very long time ago, I basically only played in front of a couple families here and there and then it's just in front of your playing competitors, so I'm very used to that.

Kind of when COVID hit, when we started back up again in the States, I mean, I can't remember how many weeks we played but it was, I mean, almost a year basically where you're just playing in front of nobody, which to me, is what I'm used to. You know I'm used to going out, practising by myself, playing tournaments by myself essentially.

So for me it was pretty relaxing, really. I had so much extra energy and time to do other things after the round. But I did notice when I made the winning putt at Mayakoba to win the tournament, there was a decent crowd on the last hole because everyone is gathered up on 18, but I was thinking about, man, it would be really cool if there were thousands of people around that 18th hole, and especially the last couple weeks and we got to see at the British Open earlier in the summer, that was amazing. Just make one putt on the 13th hole on a Thursday, and you're middle of the pack and people still go nuts. That's a pretty cool feeling.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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