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LIV Golf News: Viktor Hovland Rumored as PIF’s Next Target, Jay Monahan ‘Mistakes’ Strikes Back Hard

Published 04/15/2024, 9:46 PM EDT

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It all started back in December 2023 following Jon Rahm’s defection. Surprisingly, the names of two more professionals, Viktor Hovland, and Wyndham Clark, were also roped in as part of speculations surrounding a jump to LIV Golf. However, soon after the news came out, the Norwegian went ahead to deny the same a couple of times. But even so, it seems the rumor mills surrounding the golfer have begun spinning yet again!

A report was shared by The Guardian and subsequently uploaded on X (formerly Twitter) by NUCLR GOLF just hours ago regarding the same. Interestingly, it mentions how the Greg Norman-led league has set their eyes on the 26-year-old as part of their plan to rope in more professionals from the PGA Tour and the European circuit!

Viktor Hovland to join LIV Golf?

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There haven’t been any other significant names that joined LIV Golf after they welcomed Rahm in 2023, followed by Tyrrell Hatton, soon after. But, surprisingly, the recent report shared by the British newspaper went ahead to disturb the calm waters once again. Meanwhile, the question naturally arises; Why are they trying to recruit Viktor Hovland in the middle of the 2024 season?

Well, the PIF-funded league is supposedly putting in an effort as part of their 2025 plans, which will reportedly include new tournaments along with the recruitment of more PGA Tour and DP World Tour players. What’s more, the possible expiration of the three-year contracts of the professionals who joined the Disruptive Tour at its inception will undoubtedly increase the rate of athletes being roped in.

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That’s not all, because of such rumors, the report also pointed out the increasing need for Ryder Cup Europe “to apply a simple qualification process for golfers on the Saudi Arabian-backed circuit.” Besides, the two circuits, especially the DP World Tour, would find themselves in a pickle if the 2023 TOUR Championship winner made his way into LIV Golf. The reason is that the European league requires its members to retain their membership to participate in the Ryder Cup. However, if Hovland jumps ships, he will be subject to fines and suspensions, all the while putting his membership in a precarious position.

However, despite denying the rumors multiple times, the 6-time PGA Tour champ has been very critical of Jay Monahan. “There were some things that were said that have been walked back on and then things have been very contradictory,” stated the European recently while alluding to the commissioner.

What’s more, taking a jab at the official, he said, “As a leader of an organization, I will want a person like that to take some ownership and say, hey, we made a couple of mistakes, but this is how we’re going to rectify it, instead of kind of sweeping it under the rug, which I felt like has been done to a certain degree.”

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Viktor Hovland had dished out these comments during the recent PLAYERS Championship. The criticism, coupled with the report, sure does paint a bleak picture for the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. Fortunately for them, it’s not as if the golfer himself has agreed to join LIV.

Glancing back to when Hovland quelled rumors of a LIV Golf defection

I don’t think their product is that great,” pointed out the Norwegian before commenting on the format of LIV Golf, I’m not such a fan of, for example, playing without a cut… If I had gone to LIV, I don’t think I would have become a better golfer.” Interestingly, Hovland said so, in an interview with the Fore podcast, while divulging how the breakaway league had reached out to him.

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USA Today via Reuters

That’s not all. He did so again a second time when Tom Rosenvinge, the head of communications at the Norwegian Golf Association, got ahold of him and inquired about the same. Consequently, he was quick to reply in two words; “Not true.” Nevertheless, although Viktor Hovland has put a stop to the rumors surrounding him for now, the community can only wait and watch if he makes a U-turn like Jon Rahm did back in 2023.

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Written by:

Allan Abe

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Allan Abe is a Senior Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. Armed with a Master’s Degree in English, he has covered many themes in golf as a beat writer, with in-depth coverage of instances of many golfers’ lives, like Bubba Watson and Adam Scott. Allan particularly excels at live coverage and a hole-to-hole analysis of events.
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