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viktor hovland prize money

Soulless, comical and sad: Viktor Hovland has a bleak outlook on golf

Viktor Hovland wasn’t shy to express his deep concerns with the PGA Tour and the sport’s fixation on money on the Son of a Butch podcast…

 

Remembering what pay cheque you received for winning a tournament is “soulless” if you ask Viktor Hovland.

The Norwegian star described golf’s obsession with prize money and riches as “a little bit sad” when speaking on the Son of a Butch podcast with Claude Harmon III.

The 26-year-old’s comments come just a month after the PGA Tour struck a deal worth $3 billion with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), while also maintaining talks with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund that bankrolls LIV Golf.

Since LIV Golf’s inception in 2022, a financial arms race between the new league and the PGA Tour has infested the game with $20 million-plus purses becoming the expectation instead of the anomaly.

“Obviously, LIV is bringing in a lot of money to the sport and there’s a lot of competition which I think is good,” Hovland said, “But it seems to have been a response from the PGA Tour’s side – it’s just more talk about the money and I think that’s a little bit sad,” he said.

“Now money is important, and everyone needs to get paid accordingly and in a fair way, but I don’t think that needs to be the driving force behind this or the story every single week.

“Not to dog on a tournament here or there, you could put the purse of the John Deere (Classic) to $6 million for first place, but I’d much rather win a Memorial or a tournament like that (because of the history, course etc.).

“You’re going to have those memories of winning that event, seeing your name on that trophy – that’s pretty cool. Obviously, the pay cheque is pretty nice as well, but if that’s what you’re remembering by the end of the week, that feels a little bit soulless in my opinion.”

Hovland became one of the biggest benefactors of the professional game’s fixation on money back in August when he pocketed $18 million for winning the FedEx Cup.

In 101 starts on the circuit he joined in 2020, Hovland has earned over $27,000,000 and his career promises to wield more wealth and silverware in the years to come.

Never shy to express his thoughts on the PGA Tour, Hovland said it had done “a damn bad job” back in December after Jon Rahm decided to jump ship for LIV Golf.

He was also critical of the PGA Tour leadership who, in his view, have made decisions that are “not in the best interests of the players.”

viktor hovland prize money

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Viktor Hovland: Prize money part of ‘comical’ state of professional golf

In 2023, the PGA Tour held 12 Elevated Events each with $20 million payouts, the same amount that is distributed in individual prize money at LIV Golf events.

The tour altered this to eight elevated-field tournaments which are now called Signature Events.

They hold the same purses but still represent a vast injection of funds that was made by the PGA Tour to combat the attraction of LIV Golf, the new circuit masterminded by Greg Norman and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

During the battle of the big bucks, many PGA Tour stars such as Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have accepted lucrative offers to join LIV Golf.

With the PGA Tour in ongoing negotiations with the PIF, a type of peace deal could see Hovland regularly compete against these players once again, but the likelihood and timescale on this is anyone’s guess.

“I like to ask questions because I don’t know a whole lot myself, so if I ask more questions, I get more information, then I can make a better decision and that’s the frustrating part from my standpoint is that us as players, things haven’t been very transparent for us,” he added.

“So it’s hard for us when you’re asking me a question and I want to be truthful and give you a straight answer. I just don’t know.

“I don’t know what the path forward is, to be honest, it’s been a little sad, but I try not to think about it too much.

“It’s a little comical to see what’s going on in the game of golf, but I hope there’s a resolution in the future because at the end of the day, I just want to compete at the best golf courses, the best tournaments and against the best players. However that’s going to happen, I don’t know, but that’s what I’d like to see.”

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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