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Apr 9, 2024 2:02 pm

Viktor Hovland still tweaking swing entering Masters

viktor hovland

Viktor Hovland is the PGA Tour’s reigning FedEx Cup champion. He has never missed a cut at the Masters Tournament, and he finished in the top 20 of all four majors last year, tying for seventh at the Masters and tying for second at the PGA Championship.

None of that matters, though, if Hovland doesn’t feel comfortable with his golf swing.

The Norwegian spent most of his pre-Masters news conference Tuesday detailing the recent challenges he’s faced with his swing and the work he has done with coaches.

“I’m still kind of looking for some opinions out there, but I feel like I’m on a good track right now and we’ll see where that takes us,” Hovland, 26, said. “But, yeah, I mean, it’s one of those things. Like, I was playing great golf last year, but it’s not like I’m trying to change my golf swing. It’s just sometimes the game of golf — you try to do the same every day — but then things aren’t the same every day when you go to the golf course.”

Hovland admitted he was surprised to win the FedEx Cup last summer, capturing the BMW Championship and Tour Championship in back-to-back weeks, after all the hours he spent tinkering on the driving range one month prior at The Open Championship.

“I was always trying to learn, but at the same time, I just felt like I got to basically the pinnacle of what my golf swing was able to do last year,” Hovland said. “And just when I keep looking back at my swings from 2020, 2021, I just really had more control of the golf ball, in my opinion.”

Hovland has gone 5-for-5 in making cuts this season, but he has finished no better than T19. He hasn’t scored better than 69 in a round on the PGA Tour since the first week of January.

He said it’s been difficult to “commit to something that I believe in,” but he is trying to avoid the frustration that accompanies that.

“I would say as soon as I play bad or I make a couple of mistakes, that almost motivates me more to come back and get better,” Hovland said. “I would say that’s definitely how I’ve felt the last couple months. The kind of frustrating part is when you’re trying to figure things out and you don’t necessarily see the progress or you don’t know exactly if this is the right road ahead, and that’s when you have to think more about the process instead of just kind of shutting that off and just committing to it.”

But all the swing talk came with a caveat.

“Now I’ve still played some really, really good golf having to think about some stuff, so it’s not like I’m ruling myself out of a tournament,” Hovland said. “I’m just aware that, hey, we have some additional challenges that I haven’t had in a while, but that’s how it goes.”

Hovland is scheduled to tee off in Round 1 on Thursday at 10:54 a.m. at Augusta National Golf Club. He is paired with Wyndham Clark and Australian Cameron Smith for the first two rounds.

–Field Level Media

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