Hovland’s struggles show how fickle golf is

Ronan MacNamara

Viktor Hovland (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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As much as Rory McIlroy is searching at the moment, Viktor Hovland has gone down a rabbit hole and he has the look of a man who is tailor-made for the LIV Golf League’s criteria.

After the Ryder Cup in Rome, where the Norwegian starred many people tipped him to pick up multiple majors this year. The Ryder Cup was in September… How fickle is golf?

In his pre-Masters press conference, Hovland admitted that he was struggling with his swing and those struggles look to have continued after he followed up an encouraging 71 with a headless round of 81 to miss the cut.

Hovland is already onto his third coach of the season having parted company with his short game coach Joe Mayo, who had helped him make significant improvements around the greens which saw him top-20 in all four majors last year including T7 here and T2 at the US PGA.

Hovland appointed Grant Waite as his new swing coach but was seen at the Augusta National practice facilities with new swing coach Dana Dahlquist.

“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. It’s one of those things. I was playing great golf last year, but it’s not like I’m trying to change my golf swing,” said Hovland.

The 2023 Tour Championship winner and FedEx Cup champion felt that his game wasn’t sustainable after a coming of age season.

“I had to find my way back to where I think I’m going to play my best golf. Even at the end of the last year, I still felt like, yeah, I was playing great, but I got a lot out of my game, and it didn’t necessarily feel sustainable. But it’s not like I consciously went in and said, hey, we’re going to change everything up.”

So far this season, the 26-year-old has slipped from world number 4 to world number six. Not alarming but his results have been poor, with a T19 his best showing so far.

Clearly, Hovland has more questions than answers right now and his current struggles show just how fickle the game of golf is.

Six months ago he could do no wrong, now, he is at odds with himself.

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