Is It Hovland's Time? The Stats That Show Viktor Is Ready To Win US Open

Nobody has played better over the last three Majors than Viktor Hovland, who now looks ready to finally get over the line and win one

Viktor Hovland after winning the 2023 Memorial Tournament
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After three near misses and the best cumulative score over the last three Majors, could Viktor Hovland finally get over the line at this week’s US Open?

The Norwegian has been the best player score-wise over the course of the last three Majors, as his aggregate score of 27 under for the Open, Masters and PGA Championship is seven shots better than any other player.

It's a big reason why he's again among the favourites to win the US Open this week.

He’s been at the sharp end for all of the last three Majors as well having held at least a share of the lead in all of them – sharing the first-round lead at Augusta, the second-round lead at Oak Hill and the third-round lead at St Andrews.

If he can sleep on the lead again at Los Angeles Country Club he’ll be the first player to do so in four straight Majors since Tiger Woods did his ‘Tiger Slam’ in 2000-01 – with only him, Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus managing that feat in golf history.

All Hovland will hope though, is that he has the lead come Sunday night so can make it fourth time lucky in his search for a maiden Major.

Why PGA showed Hovland is ready to win a Major

So the stats show us that Hovland has the game to win a Major, that much is clear, but does he now also have the experience, character and temperament to get himself over the line?

He's been right in the thick of the action for three Majors running, so he certainly has the experience now, as he's been in the final group in two of the last three. 

The 25-year-old played in the final group in the Open and the PGA Championship, and was second-last out at the Masters.

It was obviously all too much for him at St Andrews when he shot 74 in the final round, while at Augusta he admitted he attacked too much in another closing round of 74.

Using those two experiences he played much better to go toe-to-toe with Brooks Koepka at Oak Hill when he shot 68 (Koepka shot 67) to lose by just two shots.

And Hovland was right in the contest until the 16th when his ball got embedded in the wall of the fairway bunker costing him a double bogey and a shot at the Wanamaker Trophy.

He played well under all that pressure though, and take away that one hole and who knows what would have happened - but the main takeaway will have been that he can now handle this.

Then talk about a response - Hovland goes and wins the Memorial on a hugely testing golf course not unlike a US Open, and you have all the signs pointing to him finally being ready to win a Major.

Throw in continued short-game improvements that will be badly needed around LACC and Hovland can justifiably have huge confidence of becoming Norway's first ever men's Major champion. 

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.