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May 16, 2024

Viktor Hovland

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Valhalla Golf Club

Flash Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Viktor Hovland is with us here at the 106th PGA Championship.

Viktor, how would you summarize your first round today?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, it was good. Got off to a nice start. Made a few putts. Made a couple of -- at least one silly bogey. Just kind of missed them on the wrong side of the pin. Just completely short-sided. At least I gave myself a couple of looks for par.

Other than that, I feel like the front nine I played very solid, hit a lot of nice putts that just didn't go in, but I didn't hit it quite close enough to shoot a low score on the front. All in all, pretty happy with 3-under par.

Q. It was reported yesterday that you began working with Joe Mayo again. Wondering if that was true and how that came about?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, that's correct. Just reached out and was wondering if he could take a look at my golf swing, and let's get back to work.

Q. What was your thought process of reaching back out? Obviously you guys had a lot of success last year working together.

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah, he knows my swing really well. He's really, really smart, and just has a way of looking at my swing and kind of knowing what it is right away.

Felt like I got some really good answers, was able to apply some of the feels right away, and I saw improvement right away. Yeah, it's easy to keep going then.

Q. I think you were the last person here last night practicing. You seemed to be working on some stuff on the range. I know you like to grind on the range. What were you looking for last night?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Just been struggling with my driver a little bit. I thought I'd hit my irons really, really nice yesterday, and I just said to myself, if I can drive it a little bit better, then I've got a pretty nice chance.

But yeah, was just kind of struggling with a high push fade, and I hit a couple of those today, but I drove it a lot better today. Yeah, that's why I stand on the range and practice.

Q. Did you find something last night or did you leave without finding it?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: I wouldn't say I found something. But some of the feels that Joe told me, just from the last couple of days, just tried to kind of exaggerate them a little bit. Because it's easy -- you do it in practice, and it feels better, but then out on the course, you kind of revert back to some old stuff.

It was just kind of reiterating the same stuff, and just kind of try to get on the other side because then the next day at least you're getting closer.

Q. It seems like scoring is down across the board today. Did you see anything in the course and conditions that may have led to that?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: I mean, the course is long, but the ball is going pretty far. The greens are pretty soft. I think the zoysia fairways around the greens, it's easy to spin it around the greens. You combine that with soft greens; it's like you can miss some greens and still be able to get up-and-downs.

I don't think the fairway is like that penalizing. It's still thick. You don't want to be in it, especially on the long holes like the long par-4s and stuff. But you can definitely hit a shot in the rough and get away with it.

Q. I know you were working through some stuff yesterday, but I remember last year at the PGA you were also one of the last guys on the range. I'm curious, do you find any satisfaction in just kind of grinding through it?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: I mean, I don't enjoy just being on the range just to hit balls. Like, there has to be a purpose behind those sessions.

Every time I go there, I feel like I have a purpose. If there is something that I need to kind of grind in a certain feel, then I'm going to do that. But if I feel like things are good and I'm just wasting energy to be out on the range, I'm not going to go out to the range.

That's what's crazy with this game. There's always something to kind of work on.

Q. When did you reach out to Joe and start working together again?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: It was last week sometime.

Q. And secondly, on the range are you searching more for technical precision or confidence?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Where does confidence come from? It comes from results. And to play better and get the results I want, I have to make some technical changes.

Now, it's just a matter of how technical those changes need to be. But if you're hitting it poorly, you're not just going to figure it out by doing the same stuff. You have to change some stuff.

I was trying to get back to what is the most natural for me to do instead of going down these other rabbit holes. But yeah, so that's just what we're doing.

Q. I'm sure you have your head down doing what you're doing out there, but at some point if you look at a board and you see Xander at 9-under, is that something you've come to expect out here, that someone is going to go crazy low?

VIKTOR HOVLAND: Yeah. I mean, 62 out there, that's pretty impressive. Even though the greens are soft and the greens are really, really good, if you hit a lot of really good iron shots you can roll in some putts, but 9-under par out there is very impressive.

Yeah, but it's one of those things you kind of just have to, as you said, keep your head down and play your best game. There's still three more rounds to go. If he keeps playing like that, it's going to be hard to do something with that. But just kind of keep playing good golf, and you should be in there in contention on Sunday. That's just kind of how I try to think about it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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