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Golf Monthly
Golf Monthly
Jonny Leighfield

Report: Viktor Hovland Is LIV Golf’s ‘Next Target’

Viktor Hovland plays his tee shot at the seventh hole at TPC Sawgrass.

Ryder Cup star and World No.6, Viktor Hovland is being tipped as the LIV Golf League’s next high-profile target ahead of its 2025 season.

The Guardian is reporting that LIV is ploughing ahead with plans to further strengthen its position in the golfing landscape at a crucial time for the 54-hole circuit.

Per Ewan Murray, the PIF-backed competition is looking to imminently add more events to its calendar and more players to its roster, with several golfers who joined around the time of the league’s inception seeing their respective three-year contracts run out at the end of 2024.

And one of the new recruits could be Hovland, who has been highly critical of PGA Tour CEO, Jay Monahan a couple of times in recent months over his handling of the framework agreement.

Not long after Jon Rahm quit the PGA Tour for LIV, Hovland said: "I totally understand why he [Rahm] left. That's a lot, a lot of money. And at least when the management of the PGA Tour has done such a bad job.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Just to be clear: I'm not complaining about the position I'm in, and I'm very grateful for everything. But the management has not done a good job. They almost see the players as labour, and not as part of the members. After all, we are the PGA Tour. Without the players, there is nothing."

Then, ahead of The Players Championship in March, Hovland said: “There were some things that were said that have been walked back on and then things have been very contradictory,” Hovland said. “As a leader of an organisation, I will want a person like that to take some ownership and say, hey, we made a couple of mistakes, but this is how we’re going to rectify it, instead of kind of sweeping it under the rug, which I felt like has been done to a certain degree.”

However, despite the strong criticism, the Norwegian also denied that he was planning to depart the US-based tour - stating that he does not believe a move would be good for his career.

He said: “I’m not such a fan of, for example, playing without a cut. You need 150 players and a cut. If you don't play well enough, you're out. There is something about it that makes your game a little sharper. If I had gone to LIV, I don't think I would have become a better golfer. And then it is, in a way, end of discussion.”

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Should Hovland change his mind, though, it would present an extremely difficult situation for the European Tour Group ahead of the next Ryder Cup at Bethpage in 2025.

Currently, only players with a DP World Tour membership can be considered for selection through either qualifying or as a captain’s pick - something that Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton still hold despite being subject to fines and bans after their respective switches.

And if a vital quarter of Luke Donald’s winning dozen from Marco Simone ends up being ineligible for the biennial competition against the US, it could compromise the whole event.

Rory McIlroy has previously called for Ryder Cup rules to be changed in order to allow LIV’s European cohort, and in particular Rahm, to remain a part of the blue and gold squad. But new European Tour CEO Guy Kinnings must be careful not to be seen as bowing to the wishes of LIV or the Saudi PIF if he plays a part in making that happen.

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