The Norwegian makes his first start on the European Tour next week at Wentworth
Viktor Hovland To Play BMW PGA Championship
Viktor Hovland will make his first European Tour start as a pro at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
The Norwegian recently earned his PGA Tour card via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and begins his PGA Tour season this week at the Greenbrier before the BMW PGA next week.
He’ll join the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Francesco Molinari and Patrick Reed in the strong field.
The PGA marks the start of the 2020 European Ryder Cup qualification process so does this move mean that Hovland is joining the European Tour in an attempt to qualify for the team next year? Quite possibly.
“My management team has been talking about it (membership) a little but I don’t know what I have to do to be a member,” he told Reuters in August.
“I’m just trying to have a place to play at first and then when that becomes more likely we’ll talk about it.
“I just turned pro a month-and-a-half ago and we’re already talking about the Ryder Cup. That’s kind of surreal but first I just need to stick to each week and take it from there.”
Hovland has begun his professional career in scintillating fashion, comparably to how Jon Rahm started his in 2016.
The 21-year-old is yet to miss a cut as a pro and in seven professional starts has recorded a T2nd finish during the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, a 4th at the Wyndham Championship and four top 16 finishes.
He turned pro after winning the low amateur honours at the US Open and Masters in 2019 after winning the 2018 US Amateur Championship.
Hovland has led the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off the tee since June and was 2nd in SG: Approach for that period too.
He averaged 301.4 yards with a driving accuracy of over 75%.
The Norwegian, who attended Oklahoma State University, recorded the lowest ever US Open four day total in history (280, beating Jack Nicklaus’ 282 total) where he led the field in SG: Off the tee and fairways hit and was T3rd in Greens in Regulation.
If he continues his form over the next 12 months, it is hard to see him not winning on the PGA or European Tour and booking a spot on Padraig Harrington‘s Ryder Cup side…if he joins the European Tour.
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