PGA Championship

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Viktor Hovland playing down the wrong fairway is in the early running for screenshot of the year

February 18, 2022

Being in the wrong fairway is usually a sign you've hit one wildly off line, at least for us mere mortals. For Viktor Hovland, being in the wrong fairway has been part of his strategy on one particular hole at Riviera this week.

On Thursday, Hovland's line at the 15th, at least on shot-tracker, raised more than a few eyebrows. Based off this, it appeared as though he hit one of the worst drives of his career:


Turns out, that was by design. The PGA Tour tweeted out video of Hovland's strategic move of hitting his drive down the 17th fairway late Thursday evening:

This, of course, is completely legal, as there is no internal out-of-bounds that's stopping Hovland (and others) from doing this at the tough par 4. Clearly, there is some sort of statistical advantage from doing this. Analytics is king in today's sports world. Hovland went on to make par on Thursday, then he did it again on Friday morning:

Friday's drive got away from Hovland a bit, but he still was able to find the green in regulation and two-putt for par. After an even par opening round, he's now six under on the day on Friday, making a large leap up the leader board. He hasn't birdied 15 yet, but any par is a good par at Riviera. Here's hoping Hovland stays in the mix on the weekend and we get to see this wild strategical move in crunch time.