Hovland Unsure Of Future Amid Saudi-Backed Golf League Rumours

Despite growing concerns of the new Saudi Golf League, World No.3, Viktor Hovland, remains focused on his upcoming season

Hovland holds his putter
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The breakaway Saudi Golf League has dominated proceedings in the golfing world over the last few weeks, with it being reported that multiple players have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements, as well as being offered eye-watering amounts of money to join the breakaway league.

Although it seems nothing has been set in stone, the revelation of players signing these non-disclosure agreements regarding the Saudi Golf League, indicates that an announcement about the launch date is likely to be sooner rather than later, with Phil Mickelson mentioning that: “Pretty much every player in the top 100 has been contacted at some point.”  

However, although this maybe the case, there still seems to be a number of factors still up in the air, with some players still unsure on what the future is going to hold for them...

Mickelson and Norman chat at the Saudi International

Mickelson and Greg Norman, CEO of Liv Golf Investments, chat during a practice round prior to the 2022 PIF Saudi International.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the players is Viktor Hovland, arguably the most in-form golfer in the world right now having claimed three titles in his last five worldwide starts. Speaking at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Wednesday, the young Norwegian refused to be drawn into the Saudi Golf League comments, stating: "I haven't talked too much about that stuff with other players." 

He went on to say: "I think, just right now, there is so much unknown, you can talk about it, but then if we don't know too much either, it's hard to talk about too much. So, you know, we are kind of still trying to figure this stuff out. I certainly love playing on the PGA Tour and it's good to be back here after a little trip over on the DP World Tour.

"But, you know, I'm playing a bunch of PGA Tour events coming up, and we'll kind of see what happens after that. I don't really know what's going to happen. But I'm just focusing on this event and next week and after that."

Hovland with the trophy

Hovland's latest win came at the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The players who have reportedly signed NDA's are Dustin Johnson and Lee Westwood, with The Daily Telegraph also reporting that Ian Poulter had been offered up to $30m to join the breakaway league. As well as Poulter, Sportsmail has reported that Bryson DeChambeau has been offered an astounding £100 million to be the poster boy of the new league - However, he has recently denied this.

One thing that is for certain is that the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka won't be joining the breakaway Saudi Golf League, with McIlroy calling the idea of the SGL: "nothing more than a money grab.".

As well as McIlroy, 15-time Major champion, Woods, stated he is "supporting the PGA Tour," claiming that it is where "his legacy is." The last player to also come out in support of the PGA Tour, is Koepka, with the 31-year-old commenting: "It's been pretty clear for a long time now that I'm with the PGA Tour, it's where I'm staying. I'm very happy. I think they do things the right way. People I want to do business with. I'm happy to be here."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x