May 20, 2023
Rochester, New York, USA
Oak Hill Country Club
THE MODERATOR: Viktor Hovland joining us at the 105th PGA Championship. Even today and 5-under for the week. What do you think your mindset and approach will be tomorrow?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, another boring answer. Just kind of try to do the same as I've done the last couple days. I don't think this is a course where you can kind of get too crazy. You have to, you know, play smart, play for middle of the greens and give yourself a lot of looks and hopefully get that putter hot.
Q. On what's been a really, really difficult week for just about everyone in the field, what do you think separates -- what do you think you've done well?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: My iron game has been very, very good this week. I hit a lot of good approach shots and you know, not that I've made crazy amount of birdies just by stuffing it with the approach shots, even though I hit a couple really nice ones. But it's more just, okay, if I'm slightly out of position or if the pin is tucked, just kind of wearing 15 to 20, 25 feet and getting a lot of shots with my irons, doing that and playing very stress-free golf.
Q. How important is mindset or course management, whatever you call it, how important is that in your iron play?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I think very important. Because when I'm hitting it where I'm looking, I can kind of use that to my advantage and play a little bit smarter instead of sometimes when you feel like you're hitting it well, it's easy to just try to go for everything, and then you short-side yourself a couple more times than you normally would have, and now you kind of gave away that advantage that you already had by hitting the irons well. I'm just kind of giving myself a lot of looks from the middle of the green.
Q. You're going to be in the final pairing on Sunday. How important is that to you and what do you take from your previous performances in recent majors that you can learn from and adapt into Sunday?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: It would be a cool experience. Any chance you have to play in the final group in a Sunday on a major, that's pretty special.
But the mindset is just going to be, I play my own game, and obviously I want to win, but I am just going to play what I think is the right play on every single shot, and if I get beat, I get beat, but the plan is to not give it away.
So hopefully by just executing strategy, I'll have a chance on -- when I get through on 18.
Q. There's a lot of passion for sports in your homeland. I'm wondering how friendly you are with Haaland, who became a Premier League champion today with Manchester City. What's your friendship, and what do you think of him as a sports athlete?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: We've never met, but we've chatted a little bit online. I'm not the biggest sports fan, so I don't really pay attention but even I have heard of Erling Haaland, and what he's doing is pretty incredible.
It's cool to see a lot of Norwegian athletes doing so well worldwide. Even Casper Ruud in tennis is doing great. It's pretty exciting to be a Norwegian.
Q. I was told the 6th hole was the toughest hole. I know you parred the 6th hole. Can you speak to your strategy to approaching that hole, and what other holes were there that you really focused on trying to either birdie make even par on?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, 6 is a hard -- very hard tee shot, especially today it was playing very long. I hit a great drive to the left side of the fairway and I still had, you know, 225 yards in there to the back left pin, and didn't hit the greatest iron shot.
But it's just one of those holes where you just try to give yourself an easy par, and if you can't, well, you try to limit the double bogeys, and if you make a bogey there, it's not the end of the world.
There's a few of those holes out there where if you miss the fairway off the tee, you are going to have a really hard time making pars. Yeah, you just try to hit fairways and greens.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports