Viktor Hovland criticized the “arrogance” of the PGA Tour and its allies in the golf establishment media, while defending Jon Rahm’s decision to sign with the LIV Golf league.
“It would be a bit too silly to criticize the players for leaving. After all, you only hear one angle in the media, and there are quite a few different parts happening at the same time here,” said Hovland, in Norwegian, per Golfweek.
“I totally understand why he left. That’s a lot, a lot of money.”
During an interview with a Norway golf podcaster, Hovland, 26, also criticized the management style of the PGA Tour.
“The management has not done a good job. They almost see the players as labor, and not as part of the members. After all, we are the PGA Tour. Without the players, there is nothing,” he said.
“When you then get to see what happens behind closed doors, how the management actually makes decisions, which are not in the players’ best interest, but best for themselves and what they think is best.
“They are not professional golfers after all. They are businessmen who say that, ‘No, it should look like this and that.’ There is a great deal of arrogance behind it all.”
Despite this, Hovland also said, he’s staying put… for now, laying doubt to the rumor that he’d be the next big name to sign with LIV Golf. The 2023 FedEx Cup winner cited the upstart league’s format of 54 holes and no-cut as less than appealing.
“I don’t think their product is that great. I’m not such a fan of, for example, playing without a cut,” Hovland said.
“You need the competition with 150 players and a cut. If you don’t play well enough, you’re out. There is something about it that makes your game a little sharper.
“If I had gone to LIV, I don’t think I would have become a better golfer. And then it is, in a way, end of discussion.”
Ironically, in three of Hovland’s first six starts in 2024, the formats will be (less than 150) limited fields with no cut as they’re elevated events.
Hovland is coming off a season which saw him win twice (the Memorial and BMW Championship) while also capturing the season-long FedEx Cup title. He’s currently ranked No. 4 in the Official World Golf Rankings, which doesn’t include LIV players.