Viktor Hovland Gives Damning Take On ‘Comical’ And ‘Sad’ State Of Golf

Viktor Hovland says the current focus on money by the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is just "a little bit sad"

Viktor Hovland during a practice round before the Hero World Challenge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While Viktor Hovland describes the continued split in golf as "comical", he also feels it's "a little sad" that all the conversations and answers about the future are centred just on the money.

The Norwegian has largely stayed out of the bickering between the two sides, and decided against taking up the Saudi PIF millions on offer at LIV Golf to remain on the PGA Tour.

Jay Monahan's $3 billion deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG) means that a reunion with the big stars on LIV may be even a bit further away - if the PGA Tour feels it has no real need for the extra cash.

Hovland seems to be one of the few genuinely just wanting to play golf, so sees all the back-biting and arguing as almost funny at this point.

"It’s a little comical to see what’s going on in the game of golf, but I hope there’s a resolution in the future because at the end of the day, I just want to compete at the best golf courses, the best tournaments and against the best players," he said on an appearance on Claude Harmon's Son of a Butch podcast.

"However that’s going to happen, I don’t know, but that’s what I’d like to see."

Jon Rahm was the latest and biggest name to join LIV Golf for a deal reportedly in the region of $500m - and the PGA Tour's response has been to increase their own prize money, form Signature Events and then sign a deal with SSG.

Credit to Hovland, though, as he finds all the money talk and bit unsavoury, as it certainly has become the sole focus of many within the game over the last couple of years.

"Obviously, LIV is bringing in a lot of money to the sport and there's a lot of competition which I think is good," Hovland added.

"But it seems to have been a response from the PGA Tour's side it's just more talk about the money and I think that's a little bit sad."

Viktor Hovland after winning the 2023 Memorial Tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hovland hasn't been shy in his criticism of the PGA Tour, saying they'd "done such a bad job" of handling the LIV Golf situation.

The Norwegian also fully understood why Rahm left - and suggested one of the key reasons behind the Spaniard's decision could be because of the PGA Tour's mismanagement of the entire saga.

"I totally understand why he left," Hovland said of Rahm. "That's a lot, a lot of money. And at least when the management of the PGA Tour has done such a bad job. 

"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."

It seemingly opened the door for Hovland to follow Rahm, but the 26-year-old ruled out a move to LIV Golf in December.

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.