European Ryder Cup skipper Luke Donald reveals Viktor Hovland's confession

European Ryder Cup skipper Luke Donald has revealed details of an interesting conversation he had with in-form PGA Tour star Viktor Hovland.

European Ryder Cup skipper Luke Donald reveals Viktor Hovland's confession
European Ryder Cup skipper Luke Donald reveals Viktor Hovland's confession

Luke Donald has revealed Viktor Hovland made a confession to the Englishman during the last Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. 

That confession? That the Norwegian simply wasn't clutch enough despite his obvious talent. 

Hovland made his Ryder Cup debut in 2021 when he qualified for Padraig Harrington's European side via the world points list. 

The Norwegian was the first from his country to represent Europe but things didn't pan out greatly for Hovland. 

Hovland tied his opening foursomes match against Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay when he played alongside England's Tommy Fleetwood

Then Thomas - this time partnered with Jordan Spieth - defeated Hovland and LIV Golf pro Bernd Wiesberger 2UP in the fourballs. 

Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler also defeated Hovland and Fleetwood 3&1. 

Despite Hovland tying with Collin Morikawa in the Sunday singles, the half point ensured Team USA clinched the Ryder Cup in a brutally dominant fashion, winning 19-9. 

Hovland has once again qualified Ryder Cup Europe via the world points list with time to spare after his victories at the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship

It is fair to say Hovland has more of a killer instinct about him than when made his tour debut. 

He's beating world-class fields and responding to adversity and pressure well. That was evident when he answered Xander Schauffele's 62 at East Lake with a bogey-free 66. 

Hovland even drained huge putts when he needed to. Elsewhere, he's also sorted out his short game.

The Norwegian famously offered five words about that when he claimed his maiden PGA Tour title three years ago: "I just suck at chipping." 

Remember this?

"It's not innate in me"

Hovland was asked about his personality after he claimed the Tour Championship. 

As much of a nice guy he appears to be, over the years there have been some questions about a lack of a killer instinct. 

Hovland agreed then offered this answer to a reporter:

"Yeah, I don't think it's something that's been innate in me. I just seem to -- especially the last couple weeks, when I'm in contention and I failed a lot of times in that spot, I think I just learned from it and instead of when I make one mistake and I'm in contention, seeing kind of the snowball go the wrong way, and I'm like, man, is this going to happen again or, come on, why did you just do that, and those thoughts kind of come into your head, I think I was -- I don't know, I think just me slowing everything down and not showing a lot of emotion kind of helps me calm myself down and I can perform at a higher level.
"That's the least how I can explain it. But I'm not just the guy, if I make a putt, go absolutely crazy. I might give it a little fist pump, but the less emotions I can kind of give away when I'm in that -- when I'm in contention, I think it's the better for me."

What do you think about Hovland's performances in 2023? Will he be integral to Europe's chances of success in Rome?

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