This week, for many, the most generous golf tournament of the year is played – in many ways the golf’s Champions League final.
At the venerable Augusta National Golf Club, the world elite will make up for the victory in this year’s first major tournament. And in the starting field we of course have Viktor Hovland – number 14 in the world rankings.
Two years ago, the Norwegian 23-year-old got the opportunity to eat cherries with the big ones when he previously won US Amateur where one of the good things was to play The Masters. With a shared 32nd place, the Norwegian became best amateur, and got to sit side by side with the biggest of them all in Butlers Cabin after the final round.
True to tradition, both the winner of the tournament and the best amateur player are interviewed inside Butlers Cabin. And it was not just anyone Hovland sat with. See the clip below.
Predict a good week
Hovland spent a long time at Oklahoma State University (OSU) – one of the most traditional universities in the United States when it comes to golf.
One of those who knows Hovland best is Alan Bratton. In addition to being the head coach of OSU’s golf team, he was the man who first discovered Hovland and got him to sign for the University of Stillwater, Oklahoma.
He also had the honor of being a caddy for Hovland in both the US Amateur in 2018 and in the Masters in 2019. Bratton believes that the fact that Hovland has played the Masters twice before, means that his chances are very good this week.
– I like Viktor’s chances. He brought with him a good experience the last time he played Masters, and he was disappointed that he did not get the opportunity to play there last autumn, Bratton says to Dagbladet, before he continues:
– He is much more experienced now with two victories on the tour. He likes the course, so I think we have a very good week ahead, predicts the American.
– Not surprised
Masters is always played in April at Augusta, but due to the corona pandemic, last year’s tournament was moved to the autumn. All the top 50 in the world rankings are allowed to participate, but when last year’s tournament was initially to be played, Hovland was not among the 50.
Therefore, he was not allowed to play the previous Masters, even though he was inside at the time the tournament was played.
Hovland has already managed to win twice on the PGA Tour. A feat many of the guys on the PGA Tour can only dream of. Bratton is by no means surprised.
– I’m not surprised at all. He is one of the best players we have ever had, and he has been very determined and put in an insane job towards his professional career, he says.
– Can he become the world’s best golfer?
– I think he is capable of being number one, yes. His discipline, confidence, and his passion for golf give him every opportunity to reach unprecedented heights. The belief he has in his own skills is invaluable, says Bratton.
The Masters are not like any other tournament. Masters are played every year on the same course. Augusta National Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia is probably the most difficult course in the world to access. The course has only 300 members at a time, and the membership fee should be somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 dollars.
The winner of the Masters gets the legendary green jacket, but is only allowed to keep it for a year before it is hung up inside the clubhouse in the player’s place, which you also get if you win. In addition to an outrageous sum of money. In the Masters, all players are guaranteed $ 10,000 anyway.
Another established tradition at The Masters is the Par-3 competition. The day before the tournament starts, some of the players, often together with previous winners, play an informal round on the area’s Par-3 hole course. Due to the corona pandemic, this year it was canceled, but during last year’s tournament, Jon Rahm kept up with this:
On Tuesday, two days before the start of the tournament, the reigning champion “Champions Dinner” will be held in the clubhouse. Here all members are invited, and it is the reigning champion who decides the menu.
When Tiger Woods took his first of five Masters victories, he chose to serve a menu of Cheeseburgers, Chicken Baguettes, French Fries and Milkshakes for dessert.
Then it remains to be seen whether Norwegian home cooking will be served during next year’s «Champions Dinner».
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