Hovland relishes hot Masters start before cold front moves in

Hovland relishes hot Masters start before cold front moves in

Co-leader Viktor Hovland fired a blistering first round 65 at the Masters on Thursday, taking advantage of great weather conditions, and the Norwegian says he is prepared to remain hot even if temperatures drop this weekend.

Hovland is tied for first place with Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm after firing an early eagle and five birdies to set his lowest round in a major at seven-under par.

The 25-year-old, who lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, claimed he recently spent time wrapped up playing golf.

“The few weeks I’ve had at home in the previous two months have been incredibly chilly, and I’ve played in three, four layers in 30-degree temperatures,” Hovland told reporters.

“I’ve got enough of experience in those sorts of situations. But I haven’t played Augusta National in that kind of conditions before, so we’ll see how that works.”

Rain and thunderstorms are expected on Friday, and temperatures will dip into the 40s with heavy rain on Saturday, with further showers and chilly weather expected for Sunday’s final round.

As circumstances worsen, Hovland, who stood out as much for his play as the colorful floral design on his shirt, said it is simpler to defend a lead than it is to gain distance.

“It’s pretty tough to make up that much distance if you’re five, six, seven strokes adrift if this place is playing really difficult,” he remarked.

“Obviously, getting off to a good start is critical this week.”

Hovland noted after his bogey-free round that another objective was to remain modest lest the legendary course humble you.

“It will penalize you pretty fast if you become a bit too smug and try to push a couple locations that you really shouldn’t,” he warned.

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