NEW YORK (VG) A masterful turnaround assured Viktor Hovland – known as "The Smiling Assassin" – a weekend game in his first professional tournament. Now he talks to several coaches about the swing.
Golf Channel named Hovland for "The Smiling Assassin" under the Traveler Championships.
There the Norwegian administered the so-called cuten impressively. This means that Hovland is guaranteed his first check – in on his first attempt.
And for a drama was in the second round for Hovland. After a triple bogey (three over pairs) in the ten holes, he was two battles behind the so-called cuten which makes him play for dollars this weekend.
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Two birdies in holes 13 and 15 gave him the chance again. And the professional shopkeeper Hovland showed steel nerves with three pairs in the last three holes.
So he ended up in two under the overall. It was just right.
The 21-year-old recently told his coach that he wants to talk to other coaches. Hovland is a student of his own golf swing – and works hard to improve it.
"Viktor recently decided to get other opinions on his swing – and uploaded videos to some other coaches," said Denny Lucas, of Kelvin Miyharis Golf Academy to VG.
Hovland's farewell made the coach steal
Since the April Masters, the cards that Hovland wanted to speak more than Lucas.
Denny Lucas of Jupiter, Florida, was at Augusta National all week, but was never called to the driving range.
Hovland explained this with the fact that he did not want to make adjustments in such an important week.
Lucas told VG and Norwegian Golf that the Masters did not turn out exactly as he had imagined.
But he kept up the dialogue with Hovland. He says that Hovland sent him videos from the swing until Thursday, that is, during the Traveler Championships.
Denny Lucas is not disappointed that he received Hovland's message:
– Viktor is a curious guy and is constantly looking for that little extra to improve. There is a lot of information to get there and he just wants to test it. I can not blame you for trying to improve. He is his own master and makes his own decisions, Lucas says..
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It is by no means unusual for professional golfers to change their swingers.
Hovland played eminent golf lately and was in the starting field in the USA. Open that hit the largest number of fairways (84 percent). He was also the one that reached the third largest number of greens (71%).
These are unusually strong numbers at this level.
So impressive was that Padraig Harrington – who is the captain of the European Ryder Cup team next year – says Hovland was the "most interesting" in the US. Open it and he's probably on the team if he's as good as he looks.
Hovland hits from far and right – and is a dreaded player in one against one.
In fact, Harrington asks Hovland to become a member of the European Tour so he can be considered.
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Denny Lucas can not say enough about Hovland's development. They have been working together for over two years.
"Nothing that surprises me. I've been saying for years that people have to watch out for him, says Lucas, adding,
"Norway should be so proud of what it has accomplished – and what it will achieve. There is no limit to how much he can achieve.
Icon Tiger Woods won the Masters – Hovland became the best amateur
Golf legend Gary Player tweeted about Hovland on Thursday. He congratulated Hovland for a spectacular career as a college and amateur player.
In tweet, the player wrote that he heard that Hovland is "working hard" with swing coach Lucas Wald.
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Hovland's results last year are noteworthy:
# He managed to cut the two major Masters and U.S. Open tournaments – with the best players in the world in place. He was in 32nd and 12th place, which would have raised up to three million in prizes, were it not for being an amateur.
# Your total score in the US Open – four below par – is the lowest of an amateur in history. The overall score at the Masters was the lowest of an amateur 58 (-3).
Hovland plays the third round Saturday afternoon, Norwegian time. Well-known golf names like Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau were not able to cut.
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