FedEx Champ Hovland Blasts “Arrogant” PGA Tour Brass, Gets LIV Allure

Reigning FedEx Cup champion Viktor Hovland says joining the LIV Golf League is likely not in the cards, stating “I doubt that” you’ll see the rising Norwegian star make the jump.

However, Hovland had sharp criticism for the PGA Tour’s leadership in a recent interview on Discovery’s “Fore” podcast.

“I can’t blame people who make that decision and go over there,” said the 26-year-old about players defecting to LIV, which has disrupted golf with exorbitant signing bonuses. While committed to at least six PGA Tour events in 2023, Hovland blasted Tour brass for divisiveness in the sport, saying “a great deal of arrogance” is behind it.

“It would be a bit silly to criticize the players for leaving,” Hovland said about peers like Jon Rahm exiting for LIV. After all, you only hear one angle in the media, and there are quite a few different parts happening at the same time here. I totally understand why he left. That’s a lot, a lot of money. And at least when the management of the PGA Tour has done such a bad job.

“Just to be clear: I’m not complaining about the position I’m in, and I’m very grateful for everything. But the management has not done a good job. They almost see the players as labor, and not as part of the members. After all, we are the PGA Tour. Without the players, there is nothing.

“When you get to see what happens behind closed doors, how the management actually makes decisions, which are not in the players’ best interest, but best for themselves and what they think is best … they are businessmen who say that, ‘No, it should look like this and that.’ There is a great deal of arrogance behind it all.”

Beyond finances, Hovland targeted PGA Tour leadership for seeing players “as labor, and not as part of the members.” He asserted, “Without the players, there is nothing.”

The Oslo native did indicate LIV’s 54-hole format deemphasizing strokes was detrimental.

“You need the competition with 150 players and a cut,” he said. “If you don’t play well enough, you’re out. There is something about it that makes your game a little sharper. If I had gone to LIV, I don’t think I would have become a better golfer.”