VIRGINIA WATER, England – Viktor Hovland is a PGA Tour rookie who has played just 11 events on the circuit, but his presence at this week’s BMW PGA Championship has created quite the buzz.
Hovland earned his Tour card this season via the Korn Ferry Tour and he has back-to-back top-10 finishes in his last two starts (T-10 at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier and fourth at the Wyndham Championship), but it was his potential as a future European Ryder Cup star that has sparked the most interest in the 21-year-old.
“It feels like he belongs, which is the biggest key to a young rookie coming out on Tour,” said European captain Padraig Harrington. “You know, if they look like they are caught in the headlights, they could disappear quickly, where Viktor really does look like he's here to play golf.”
Harrington’s interest was such that he listed Hovland as a player he wanted to be paired with in a tournament over the next year so he could get to know the Norwegian. He’ll have that chance for Rounds 1 and 2 at the BMW PGA Championship where the two will be grouped.
And next year’s captain isn’t the only one interested in how Hovland will fare as a professional.
“Obviously you do have these guys coming out, and Matt Wolff, Collin Morikawa and Viktor, they are the three that have been talked about for a long time,” Rory McIlroy said. “Matt and Collin have already won on the PGA Tour, but you could argue and say Viktor has maybe played the best golf of the three in terms of consistency and scores that he's shot.”