Norwegian star Hovland eyes Mayakoba hat-trick

Superstar Norwegian Viktor Hovland is chasing a rare PGA Tour feat and that is to win the same event – the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba – for three years running.

Hovland made his PGA Tour debut in the Mexican event in November 2018 and then some 15 months later, the Norwegian surprised many in capturing the 2020 Puerto Rico Open followed by his first Mayakoba Golf Classic trophy later that year.

Viktor Hovland Hovland won his first Mayakoba title in 2020 (Credit: PGA Tour)

Hovland then stamped his credentials even further capturing the 2021 BMW International Open before claiming his second Mayakoba in a row in November.

This week the 25-year-old and World No. 11 is looking to become the first player since American Steve Stricker to win the same event three years running with Stricker achieving that feat at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic (2009, 2010, 2011).

“Mayakoba is a special place. I loved it even before winning it two times. It was the first spot I played as a PGA Tour — or it was the first time I played a PGA Tour event. To come back here as a two-time champion is very special. Yeah, see if I can add another one this week,” he said.

“If I was to win here again this week it would be awesome. The PGA Tour’s been around for a while and that’s not something that’s happening all the time, although it does seem like more guys are defending their titles more and more now recently.”

Of note, all three of Hovland’s PGA Tour wins have come outside the United States, with one at the 2020 Puerto Rico Open and two (2020, 2021) at Mayakoba. Hovland has made two starts this season, highlighted by a T5 at the ZOZO Championship.

Reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler is making his first start since losing his position as World No. 1, position he held for 30 consecutive weeks until Rory McIlroy won THE CJ Cup in South Carolina. In the absence of McIlroy, Scheffler would return to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a win or second on his own this week.

Aaron Baddeley, Harrison Endycott and another former World No.1, Jason Day, are the only Australians teeing it up tomorrow’s starting event in Mexico.