Erling Haaland may be grabbing all the Norwegian headlines but Viktor Hovland could push the Manchester City striker from the front pages on Sunday if he can win the PGA Championship and return home with the country’s first men’s major.
Haaland has bulldozed his way to several scoring records this season while helping the treble-chasers on Saturday capture their third consecutive Premier League title.
But Hovland could also be on the brink of achieving something special at Oak Hill Country Club when goes out in the final pairing on Sunday just one shot back of leader Brooks Koepka.
“We’ve never met, but we’ve chatted a little bit online,” Hovland said about Haaland. “I’m not the biggest sports fan, so I don’t really pay attention, but even I have heard of Erling Haaland, and what he’s doing is pretty incredible.
“It’s cool to see a lot of Norwegian athletes doing so well worldwide, “Even Casper Ruud in tennis is doing great.
“It’s pretty exciting to be a Norwegian.”
Hovland has spent his career piling up Norwegian firsts – the first Norwegian to play the Masters and the first to win on the PGA Tour with a victory at the Puerto Rico Open.
Hovland has also been inching closer to a major breakthrough, having finished in a tie for fourth at the British Open last year followed by a tie for seventh last month at Augusta National.
The 25-year-old’s composure is sure to be put to the test playing alongside Koepka, who has four major wins on his resume and will be chasing a third PGA Championship in the last six years.
But a confident Hovland assures he will not be overwhelmed by the moment or the spotlight and will play his game.
“Any chance you have to play in the final group in a Sunday on a major, that’s pretty special,” said Hovland, after returning a third round level par 70 on Saturday. “But the mindset is just going to be, I play my own game.
“Obviously I want to win, but I am just going to play what I think is the right play on every single shot, and if I get beat, I get beat, but the plan is to not give it away.”