Viktor Hovland has become the first Norwegian player to qualify for the Masters.
After becoming the first Norwegian player to win U.S. Amateur Championship last year, earning him a spot in the field this week, the Oklahoma State golfer will add an appearance in the Masters to his already impressive list of achievements.
Currently ranked the number one amateur in Europe, and the third ranked amateur player in the world, Hovland has twice finished runner-up in the European Amateur Championship (2016 & 2018) and represented the Continent of Europe in the Jacques Léglise Trophy, going undefeated in four matches in 2015.
Hovland has already won on the U.S. College circuit this year, and sounds confident heading into the first day of competition: "You've got Tiger out there and Jordan Spieth, those guys standing right next to them on the range, that's a little different," Hovland said. "That's a little change, but they're just normal people. They hit the ball really well, and they do stuff that's really, really good. But I still think, if I play my game, I can beat those guys. That's kind of the mindset I think you need going into those tournaments. You can't just be awestruck forever, but it's pretty cool."
As is tradition at the Masters, the reigning U.S. Amateur Champion is paired with the defending Masters champion, meaning Hovland will play rounds one and two with Patrick Reed. Webb Simpson will complete the three-ball, who are set to tee off at 10:31 AM local time (4:31pm CEST) on Thursday.
Click HERE to follow Hovland's livescoring.
Did You Know?
Seven other former European Amateur Championship medallists will tee it up alongisde Hovland at Augusta National this week, including recent green jacket winners, Sergio Garcia (the 1995 European Amateur Champion), and Danny Willett (the 2007 European Amateur bronze medallist).
The five others are:
- Lucas Bjerregaard (2010 champion)
- Tommy Fleetwood (2010 bronze medallist)
- Rory Mcilroy (2006 champion)
- Rafa Cabrera Bello (2005 bronze medallist)
- Paul Casey (1999 bronze medallist)