Rolex Series

Viktor Hovland keen to continue Ryder Cup feel-good factor in Dubai

Viktor Hovland is hoping to maintain the feel-good factor from the Ryder Cup as he returns to action at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

Viktor Hovland

The Norwegian was one of the stars as he picked up 3.5 points from his five matches to help Team Europe regain the Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in September.

Hovland was a fans' favourite in Rome, particularly after the 26-year-old and European rookie Ludvig Åberg created Ryder Cup history with a 9&7 win - the largest margin of victory ever at the event - over World Number One Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka in the Saturday foursomes session.

The biennial event came shortly after Hovland had secured the biggest victory of his career when he lifted the FedEx Cup at the 2023 TOUR Championship in August, collecting a pay cheque worth $18m.

He has not competed since the Ryder Cup, but he believes the extended break and the memories of the team event could help towards another successful week at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

"It was such a highlight of my career and it's been really nice the last six weeks. After that, let it sink in but it's good to be back," Hovland said.

"Six weeks, it feels like a long time. You know, you need those breaks to recharge because it's hopefully a long career. You can't play every single event that's out there, but I do feel like my game is good enough to step up and play as well as I did before the break.

"Obviously winning the TOUR Championship was more important for my career, but the memories from Rome, I'm going to remember those moments for a lot longer and those memories are a lot stronger than TOUR Championship. Everything was just perfect from our perspective that week.

"Luke (Donald) did a great job. Everything was just so prepared and when we got to that week, it was smooth. We all knew what we were going to do. We had a plan, and we just trusted the process and I think even from the people that watched and from the American side that I've talked to when I was in the States, they all thought it was a great Ryder Cup regardless of the results and rooting for us.

"It was just a great event, and to share it with all the people that were a part of it, it doesn't get any better."

Hovland has already won in Dubai in his short DP World Tour career, sealing the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic with a play-off victory, and will be teeing up on the Earth course with three PGA TOUR successes under his belt this campaign.

He believes his game has taken a "big step" forward over the course of the season, which led to the triumphs at the Memorial Tournament in June and BMW Championship and TOUR Championship in August.

Viktor Hovland

"I'm sitting here and especially after the Ryder Cup and I'm just looking over the year, it's the moments that we had in Rome, that was incredible, and then just looking back to, hey, I won three times this year, big-time events," he added.

"I'm really proud of the way I won those events. I don't feel like I would have been capable of winning those events earlier in the year. I feel like I've taken a big step to be able to win those events.

"I'm thinking back to that stretch as, man, I got a lot better this year and I was able to achieve some things that I wouldn't probably have done before. That's kind of how I'm sitting here and thinking about that. But I would say the money is nice."

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