Hovland leading the way for Norwegian golf

Viktor Hovland is hoping to put golf on the map in Norway as he gets ready to make his second Rolex Series appearance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

Viktor Hovland

After claiming low amateur honours at the Masters Tournament and U.S. Open Championship last season, he entered the paid ranks and finished in a tie for 11th at the BMW PGA Championship on his professional European Tour debut.

A string of good finishes worldwide mean he is already in the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking and beginning to make a name for himself in a home nation dominated by winter pursuits.

With potential qualification for the Olympic Mens Golf Competition and Ryder Cup in 2020, his profile could rise even further and he is hopeful that more Norwegians can start swinging a club.

"Definitely getting more attention, which is cool," he said. "But golf is not the biggest sport in Norway. It's still cross-country skiing and downhill skiing and ski-jumping and those things are definitely taking more of the interest from the Norwegian public.

"I want to do what I can to make the team for The Ryder Cup but that's not what I'm thinking about every day when I wake up. I'm just trying to get better at golf.

"We need to get there (the Olympics) and hopefully do well. Maybe that would do something for golf in Norway.

"I know that because it's an Olympic sport now, higher up in Norway, they have to spend more money on golf to kind of help us improve, and the juniors that are coming behind us to help them improve.

"Other than that, I'm not really sure of the consequences of it. We'll just wait and see. Hopefully we do as well as we can and it can help."

Hovland revealed that he was interested in many sports as a young man but was not physically suited to those typically associated with his countrymen.

"We need to get there (the Olympics) and hopefully do well. Maybe that would do something for golf in Norway

"Being a short, fat kid is not great for being on skis," he joked. "Maybe downhill skiing but I wasn't great for that, either.

"When I was younger, I did soccer and taekwondo, as well as golf, and when I was in eighth grade I quit soccer and quit taekwondo and I just wanted to play golf in the winter. 

"I wanted to hit balls inside because I would normally just take a hiatus from the game for four or five months.

"I started getting more and more friends playing golf and that's just what I liked to do."

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