In terms of bright shirts, it was close to 10 on the Richter Scale.
Not even John Daly’s ‘Loudmouth’ trousers could top Viktor Hovland’s shirt that the young Norwegian golfing superstar wore on the opening day of the 87th Masters at Augusta National.
The shirt looked a bit like a Jackson Pollock on drugs or maybe one of those late Saturday night pizzas with all the toppings, but most of all it was eye-catching, with Hovland wearing the shirt playing in the company of five-time Masters winner Tiger Woods, who wore a simple-looking white shirt.
Hovland’s shirt was refreshingly different from the norm or the stuffiness at a Masters so much so, it even had the azaleas, the firethorns, the pink dogwoods and even the flowering crab apples blushing as he made his way around the golfing cathedral among the pines.
Better still for Hovland, he let his shirt do the talking in moving into the lead at seven-under-par before being joined by Spaniard Jon Rahm, who four-putted the opening hole and then played his next 17 holes in nine-under, and also Brooks Koepka who matched Hovland’s 65 late on the opening day.
It took a while for the assembled Masters media to jump on Hovland’s shirt with the current World No. 9 explaining that the shirt was not his decision.
“I had nothing to do with it (laughter),” he said. “I just wear what they tell me to wear!
“No, I mean, it’s definitely a little bit out there, but I think I’d rather take these than the pink pants I had last year. So we’re making progress.”
Q. Just wanted to stand out a little bit?
VIKTOR HOVLAND: I guess.
The 25-year-old Norwegian is contesting his fourth Masters with his best finish being a T21 in 2021.
Whether it was the shirt or a share of third in the recent Players Championship, however it is a welcome return to form for Hovland’s that saw him capture the Woods hosted Hero World Challenge last December in The Bahamas.
“I would have taken that,” Hovland responded when asked if he would have taken a 65 in waking-up this morning.
“That’s pretty fun. You know, as I said, my game’s been feeling good. But to shoot a 65 bogey-free out here, some things have to go your way. It’s not like you can just step up and have that handed to you.
“So I definitely had some things go my way today but also hit a lot of great shots”.
Now a big question ahead of the second round when waking-up on Friday morning will Hovland go for that could top Thursday’s stunner?
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