Mother knows best.
In Viktor Hovland’s case, mom also knows the Rules of Golf.
Hovland was walking to his car after shooting 2-under 70 on Thursday at The Players Championship when he received a phone call from his mom, Galina, who was back in Norway. During the brief conversation, Galina asked her son if he was going to be penalized for what happened on the 15th hole.
“What do you mean?” Hovland asked his mom.
“Well, you didn’t put your mark back in the right place,” she answered.
Hovland hung up and immediately notified Tour officials of a potential penalty. Video evidence confirmed that after Hovland moved his mark a putter head to the left to clear the path for playing competitor Justin Thomas, he failed to return his mark to its original place and actually moved it another putter head left before making a 3-footer for par.
Under the old rules, Hovland would’ve been disqualified as he had already signed his card, but instead he was docked two shots under Rules Interpretation 3.3b and left with an opening 72.
Those two shots, however, ended up being costly. Hovland shot 2-over 74 on Friday and missed the cut by two shots.
"Yeah, it's unfortunate," said Hovland, who birdied two of his first holes of Round 2 before a double at No. 5 derailed his day. "I've already kind of put that past me. I'm just more disappointed that I wasn't able to play better because I had a good start today, and if I would have just kept going in that direction, I could have been, let's say, 5-under par and then going into the weekend with a chance to win the golf tournament.
"I already put that past me, but yeah, just disappointed I didn't play very good today."