Viktor Hovland is one of the rising stars on the PGA Tour, having won once already in just over a year as a professional. The Norwegian, who also won the 2019 US Amateur, has already established himself as one of the top rookies on the tour.
That’s why with this week’s One Bet, $100, I’m taking Hovland to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club. The 22-year-old is getting 20/1 odds at several sportsbooks.
Last week, I took Bryson DeChambeau to win the Travelers Championship. The 26-year-old shot four rounds in the 60s, but still finished tied for sixth. He’s another golfer I like this week, but as the favorite, he’s only getting 7/1 odds.
One Bet, $100
|This Week’s Pick||Last Week’s Result||Season Total|
|Viktor Hovland to win||Lost: DeChambeau to win Travelers||1-6, -$280|
Hovland is the better value play. At nearly three times the odds that DeChambeau is fetching, the payday is far more attractive, but I don’t think the risk is three times worse. Hovland could win this week for several reasons.
Hovland Seeing Improvements in His Game
In 12 events this season, Hovland has hovered around the top of the leaderboard in all but two of them. He has an impressive nine finishes in the top 10, seven of those at fifth or better.
Hovland told reporters on Wednesday that he’s played well since the restart. He’s one of only seven golfers to make the cut in all three tournaments since golf returned from a 12-week absence because of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“I feel like my game is definitely progressing in the right direction,” Hovland said. “I really wasn’t hitting it all that great at Colonial the first week, but I actually kind of scrapped something together. RBC Heritage, I felt like I started hitting the ball a little better and had a nice first round there, but couldn’t really capitalize on the next few rounds. And last week, I felt like my, just kind of all-around my game was getting a little better here and there.”
Familiarity Breeds Success?
Another factor that should help Hovland this week is that the Rocket Mortgage Classic is one of only two events he will have played twice. The other was last week’s Travelers Championship. He finished tied for 11th at TPC Rivers Highland.
In his debut at Detroit Golf Club last year, Hovland finished tied for 13th and shot a final-round 64.
“It’s really fun to kind of come back to events that I played before,” Hovland said. “Obviously, most of my events I play without having been there before, so it’s nice. Last week was the first week and this week, have some good memories from last year. I really like the course.”
Why Hovland Will Win
Hovland is one of the hottest golfers on the tour right now. He’s improved in every tournament since the restart, and Detroit Golf Club fits his game.
He’s currently ranked 11th off the tee and 12th in approach to the green. His one area of concern is his putting, where he’s ranked 121st. Hovland, says he believes he knows what his problem might be.
“I had a couple good rounds putting and a couple [of] bad rounds putting,” Hovland said. “Then last week wasn’t that great, but I putted great the first day. It’s just a little inconsistent. I just try to do a couple of easy checkpoints and try to spend some time out on the course and just try to read the greens because that’s where I feel like it’s at.”
If Hovland can figure that out, he could be in for a strong week.