According to the Official World Golf Rankings, Scottie Scheffler is the best player in the world, with Viktor Hovland in fourth place.
But after finishing this year on a high note, Hovland feels he’s at the top of that list.
“I believe I am, given how I’ve played the last few months,” Hovland said on this week’s episode. smiley show.
However, the 26-year-old Norwegian admitted that the three players ahead of him in the OWGR also deserved to be crowned world No.1.
“At the same time, what Scottie did, what Jon Rahm (No. 2) did, and how consistent Rory (No. 3) was. [McIlroy] I think any of us can be the best player in the world on any given week, given what we’ve played this year,” Hovland said. “How important is that? We’re all really, really great when we’re at our best.”
Hovland, the 2018 U.S. Amateur champion, has long been considered one of the game’s top rising stars. This year, he won the Tour three times, shot a final-round 61 to finish the season by winning the BMW Championship, and lived up to his lofty expectations by winning the season-long FedEx Cup title a week later.
The former Oklahoma State Cowboy found success in his first few years on tour, but his short game kept him from becoming one of the best players in the world. He was one of the worst scramblers on tour in 2022, ranking 191st out of 193 players.
Hovland won the Tour Championship at East Lake by five strokes.
But Hovland has spent enough time working on his short game that he’s been an average scrambler on tour this year. He also vastly improved his bunker play, which was essential to winning the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in June, one of the tour’s marquee events.
“Honestly, what happened in the bunker was the biggest Hallelujah experience for me,” he said. “I used to put a lot of sand in the bunkers. The only thing I remember is that if I had played in the Memorial, which I won this year, I would have had no chance at all. Honestly, it was a stupid thing for me. I thought it was a course. It’s very hard to hit the fairways and it’s very hard to hit the greens, so even if you can hit the stripes, you’ll still only hit 11 or 12 greens. In those bunkers, You’re always going to be hit downhill. If you can’t catch the ball cleanly out of the bunker, you can’t stop it on the green when you miss it.”
This victory was the first step in a monumental career leap for Hovland. And now, having achieved some of the success that many imagined he would someday have, Hovland is looking forward to what lies ahead — perhaps even at the top of the world rankings. This may include seizing the seat.
“If we can obviously maintain what we’ve been doing, we’re very optimistic about next year and the next few years,” he said. “But at the same time, just keep improving like I’ve done every year. I’m very excited. Let’s see how it goes. The other players are playing great golf too.”