Rolex Series

Viktor Hovland keeping things simple as he targets more Rolex Series success

Viktor Hovland is hoping he can end 2022 the way he started it - by winning in Dubai.

Viktor Hovland

Hovland was in fine form through the first two Rolex Series events of the year, sharing fourth place at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship before winning the Dubai Desert Classic. He also tied for fifth at the BMW PGA Championship.

Ahead of the DP World Tour Championship, the fifth and final event of the Rolex Series in 2022, Hovland has been fine-tuning his game.

He said: "It's just trying to simplify things a little bit. I feel like my short game and putting has been very consistent through the last couple of months.

"I just haven't hit the ball well enough to be quite there in contention. Just basically trying to minimise the curve a little bit so I know exactly where the ball is going to curve.

"I might not hit it exactly where I want it to, so at least I know the dispersion of the shot pattern. I'm not trying to hit a cut and suddenly there's a pull-draw and you lose confidence where the ball is going to go. I'm just trying to keep things simple."

Hovland, who is fifth in the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex, tied for third place, two shots behind Matt Fitzpatrick, on his last visit to Jumeirah Golf Estates in 2020.

He added: "It's good to be back here. Last time I was here was Covid year, so not a lot of grandstands. So it's cool to come back and see the place a little bit differently. The course is in great shape. I feel like my game has been trending in the right direction, so I'm looking forward to the week."

Looking further ahead to The Ryder Cup - with Europe set to take on the United States in Italy in less than a year - Hovland added: "Obviously The Ryder Cup is the big goal and you want to make the team every time. It's not something that I think too much about each week.

"It's a year from now. It's more about controlling the things that I can control day-in, day-out. If I play the golf that I know I'm capable of playing, I should be on that team, so it's more about thinking about just my game every day and trying to get the best out of every single day."

Shane Lowry sits a place behind Hovland in the race for the Harry Vardon Trophy.

Like the Norwegian, Lowry is a Rolex Series winner this year, having triumphed at Wentworth Club.

It was his first victory since The Open Championship at Royal Portrush in 2019.

Lowry said: "I feel like I'd had a good year up until then (Wentworth) but it started to become quite frustrating because I obviously wanted to win so badly. It had been a while since I won.

"To get over the line in a place like Wentworth in a tournament like that is just... At the start of the year, if you're writing tournaments you potentially want to win, that's right up there with them.

"It's one of my favourite places to play and to have my name on that trophy is pretty cool."

Lowry tees it up this week having posted four top-tens at the Earth Course and he knows what is needed for another fine finish.

He added: "The greens are quite big, so you hit a lot of greens. But I think you need to hit it into the right portions of the greens to not leave yourself big long putts over slopes.

"Your iron play needs to be quite precise, and mine is. This week is as thick as I've ever seen the rough and as bad as I've ever seen the rough.

"Off the tee this week, you'll have to be quite good as well. Putting the ball in the fairway, I think if I hit enough fairways, I'll have a chance."

Read next