No Risk, No Reward

Viktor Hovland taking this bonkers line off 15 is fast becoming the greatest tradition at Riviera

February 14, 2024

The clock strikes Riviera once more. This week the PGA Tour returns to hot, hot Signature Event action at the Genesis Invitational action where Tiger Woods will tee it up in Sun Day Red (mind the space), Max Homa will defend his, um, runner-up title and Viktor Hovland will once again indulge his intrusive thoughts when he steps up to the 15th tee. Yep that’s right, judging by Monday’s practice round, the vibey Viking will be taking this unhinged line off 15 for the third year running, making him one of the few players in the field willing to buzz the scoreboards and put down the landing gear on the wrong runway in the middle of one of the toughest tests on tour.

If you think Hovland’s line looks a bit cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs in a practice round, however, just watch it in actual tournament play last year.

This clip, a lot like Hovland’s J. Lindeberg scripting, seems a bit like being different for the sake of being different, with any tangible advantage being highly dependent on wind direction and pin position. But in Hovland’s case, we’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. First of all, sports are entertainment, and watching some Norwegian dude nearly decapitate three spectators while aiming dead sideways with a driver in his hand is damn fine entertainment. Second of all, true genius is always misunderstood in its time. So for now, let’s just enjoy the ride. Whether it pays off big or goes splat right there on the 17th fairway, it’s going to be fun to watch.