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Viktor Hovland: No LIV players ‘devalues’ world ranking

The No. 4 golfer in the world doesn’t think very highly of his ranking, not when there are a host of players excluded.

Norway’s Viktor Hovland, the reigning FedEx Cup champion, said the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) is “devalued” given the absence of LIV golfers.

Hovland made the comments Wednesday ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.

“Rankings are rankings, they’re not objective truth,” Hovland told reporters. “They’re, you know, created to try to rank people the best they can. Obviously, now when you have a huge chunk of really, really good players that are not getting any ranking points, it definitely devalues that ranking.”

Regardless, Hovland said he doesn’t play the game for the OWGR.

“At the end of the day, I don’t show up out here to try to improve my world ranking, I show up because I want to win this tournament and that’s it,” Hovland said.

Hovland, however, isn’t doing any of that either to start the 2024 season. The Palmer tournament will be just his fourth as he continues to deal with the “frustrating” results of his swing that has gone awry.

“Feel like my swing hasn’t been quite as good as it has been in previous years, so it’s been, felt like I’ve tried to prioritize just being home and practicing, putting a lot of work in,” Hovland said. “Don’t really want to fight through something while playing, it’s just not that fun, and I don’t see the point of it.”

Pretty astounding words for the 26-year-old, who tallied three wins and nine top 10s last year en route to his first PGA Tour championship.

But so it goes for Hovland, whose best finish so far in 2024 is a T19 at The Genesis Invitational. He tied for 58th at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and started the year with a T22 at The Sentry.

“It’s just the mechanics of the swing. Just haven’t been able to hit the shots that I want to,” Hovland said. “Obviously, you want to have good results, but when you’re seeing a shot and your swing is not producing those shots, it becomes very tough to compete, especially at this level. I think the results are just, obviously they’re not the best, but it’s like they reflect what you’re doing when things aren’t great. …

“You’re playing defensive golf instead of aggressive or confident. That’s basically what I just got to get back to.”

And despite winning the FedEx Cup last year, Hovland said he’s shooting for a time when his swing was even better than that.

“It’s going to sound a little dumb, but I actually prefer my golf swing better in 2021. Kind of early 2021 I feel like my ball striking was the best,” he said. “I definitely swung it well last year, but it wasn’t as good as I would have wanted. I was kind of playing more of a draw instead of playing the normal cut shot that I have been my whole career. I was kind of fighting that all throughout last year. I just told myself, ‘OK, I’m just going to play the draw and just stick to that.’

“That obviously worked well.”

Source: Yardbaker