KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Earlier this week, Lee Westwood became the third high-profile player to withdraw his name from consideration for the Olympics. But there are still plenty of players eyeing a spot in Tokyo later this year, including Viktor Hovland.
Hovland is currently qualified to represent Norway in the Summer Games, and he said Thursday following a first-round 69 at the PGA Championship that he’s looking forward to the chance to play for his country.
“We have a very rich Olympic tradition, and now with golf being an Olympic sport, I think it would be great for people back home to just get into the sport,” said Hovland, who was tied for the early lead at Kiawah Island. “We'll have to get there first.”
As far as the logistical concerns that Westwood and others have cited for their withdrawals, Hovland acknowledged that the timing of the Games and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions are worrisome, but that won’t change his mind.
“It's unfortunate the circumstances that we're dealing with. It looks like it's going to be pretty strict. There's not a whole lot of fun stuff to do, if you will, outside of the golf course,” he said. “That's going to be a little downer, but just to be able to compete as an Olympian is a huge honor, and hopefully, I can represent Norway well.”