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Interview with Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland sat down with All Square at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The world #94 spoke about his goals for 2020, the Ryder Cup, the Olympics and golf in Norway.

Last year, you had a great year. You were low amateur at the Masters and the U.S. Open. You had a great start in your first professional start on The European Tour at Wentworth. Do you love these big events? You’re here for the start of the Rolex Series in 2020, is it something that excites you, playing in these big events?

Well, I don’t know, obviously it excites me, but I just try to do as well as I can. Fortunately, those bigger events usually they tighten up the fairways and the rough is a little thicker. I just think that’s that suits my game, and that’s probably why I’ve performed a little better at those events.

And we saw some excellent wedge play from you last night as you won the Hero Challenge. Is that going to be the key to your game this week, do you think?

Unfortunately not. I don’t think so. There’s not a whole lot of wedges out there. But if I’m going to lay up, I’m going to lay up to 90 yards and hopefully take advantage of that distance.

Are you becoming a big thing in Norway? Do people know who you are?

Definitely getting more attention, which is cool. But golf is not the biggest sport in Norway. It’s still cross-country skiing and downhill skiing and ski-jumping and those things are definitely taking more of the interest from the Norwegian public.

Can you tell us about your European Tour plans? Have you taken up a membership already on the Tour? How much is Ryder Cup in your mind right now?

Yeah, obviously I want to do what I can to make the team for Ryder Cup. But that’s not what I’m thinking about every day when I wake up. I’m just trying to get better at golf.

Obviously I want to be eligible if that opportunity comes. But as of right now, I’m just playing this week, next week, and my schedule is very fluid. It can change in three weeks. It can change pretty quickly. As of right now, I’m just kind of taking every week as, yeah, just another week.

You just mentioned that golf is not very big in Norway. Henrik Stenson said a couple of years back that his medal in the Olympic Games did a lot for golf back home. So if you get to the Olympics, as I’m sure you will, would that make a difference, and would that increase visibility of golf and do more for it in Norway?

Well, I think it helped in Sweden because Henrik did so well in the Olympics. Obviously we need to get there and hopefully do well. Maybe that would do something for golf in Norway.

It’s hard to say. I know that because it’s an Olympic sport now, higher up in Norway, they have to spend more money on golf to kind of help us improve, and the juniors that are coming behind us to help them improve, but other than that, I’m not really sure of the consequences of it. We’ll just wait and see. Hopefully we do as well as we can, and yeah, it can help.

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