Viktor Hovland Can Win a Major This Year But Not the Masters

Viktor Hovland has the game to win a major, but not at Augusta.
Viktor Hovland has the game to win a major, but not at Augusta. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Viktor Hovland is on fire. He can't be stopped. Every time he enters a tournament these days, he wins. Those wins should extend to the 2022 majors. Hovland has the game to win his first major this year. It just won't be at Augusta National.

Hovland won his second straight tournament today, firing a final-round 66 to win Tiger Woods' event, the Hero World Challenge, in Bermuda. He made back-to-back eagles on the back nine. Even his two bogies to finish couldn't diminish his greatness. But they did highlight the reason he's not ready to win the Masters. His short game isn't where it needs to be.

So far in the 2022 PGA Tour season, Hovland is 240th in strokes gained: around the green and 190th in sand save percentage, saving par just 42.86% of the time and an average proximity to the hole of 14 feet. Overall he's 85th in scrambling, which is better, but he's still only saving par 64.71% of the time.

We're only a few events into this season, but his results were similar last year. He was 124th in shots gained around the green, saved bunked shots 50.96% of the time and saved par on 60.77% of his scrambling opportunities overall.

That won't cut it at Augusta.

Hovland is outstanding tee-to-green. He was eighth on tour in shots gained tee-to-green last year, 15th in shot gained on approach shots and fifth in shots gained off-the-tee. But he was 99th in shots gained putting and 81st in total putting. Again, a bad thing to be average at in Augusta.

At this stage of his career, Hovland is better suited to win a U.S. Open, PGA Championship or British Open. This year the PGA is at Southern Hills in Tulsa, the U.S. Open is at The Country Club in Brookline and the Open is at St. Andrews. He could win any of those events.

He finished T-12 and T-13 in two U.S. Opens he completed and T-12 at The Open last year. At the Masters he finished tied for 21st last year and T-32 in 2019. Certainly nothing to suggest the course isn't suited for him, but also not in contention.

Currently WynnBET only has odds for the British Open. Hovland's odds to win that tournament are +2500. I'm not rushing to put a bet on him to win that tournament, but I will be fading him at Augusta. At the other three majors this year? You can bet I'll be throwing a few bucks on Hovland to win.