PGA Tour players value their equipment very much. Every club has to be exactly the right size down to the last millimeter and every ball has to be free of the smallest traces of abrasion. Any sudden change in your bag can be disastrous ahead of a tournament.
Viktor Hovland experienced a disaster of his own ahead of the Wide Technology Championship in Mayakoba when another Tour pro accidentally snatched his driver while he was on loan at the practice area. Fortunately for Hovland, another golfer had an additional driver of the exact same model as himself, and now he is leading the tournament with one round to go.
A simple driving range session went horribly wrong for Viktor Hovland
Viktor Hovland drives the third round of the World Wide Technology Championship in Mayakoba | Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images
During a range session before the first run of the World Wide Technology Championship in Mayakoba, Hovland loaned his driver Danny Lee to do an experiment. But what was supposed to be just a nice touch turned into a disaster.
“He asked me if I could take a few hits on his quad and I hit a few drives as hard as I could. And then he hit his again and like I was just kind of a hit, I was just curious. I wanted to see if he could accelerate his ball with my driver, which was taking a little longer, ”said Hovland on Thursday from El Camaleon Golf Course.
So Lee started swinging to the fences with Hovland’s driver and the club couldn’t handle it. When Hovland looked over for a swing, his driver was torn in half.
“Yeah, I don’t know where it broke or how he shot it, but I just look up after he hits the shot and it was torn to pieces,” he said.
Without a replacement driver in his pocket, Hovland was struggling as his start time was rapidly approaching.
James Hahn came to Hovland’s aid
Hovland didn’t know what to do without a driver in his pocket, but luckily he found another PGA Tour professional with the exact same driver model on the range. Incredibly, he had a perk for Hovland to use.
“James Hahn was up front and he was kind enough to lend me one of his backups,” said Hovland. “It’s a bit shorter, it’s a different shaft, but to be honest, it almost helped me this week because it’s a bit shorter. It’s probably 10 meters shorter, but I just felt like I could really hit it a little deeper and a little straighter. So I hit that thing really well. “
With Hahn’s driver in his pocket, Hovland scored a 4 under 67 in the first round of the tournament. He followed with a 65 in the second round and a brilliant 62 in the third round to take a two-stroke lead into Sunday.
Hovland may owe Hahn a $ 1.3 million cut in his potential payday
If Hovland maintains his lead on his Mayakoba win this weekend, Hahn should definitely receive a portion of his $ 1.3 million winners check. Without Hahn’s driver, he would not have been able to shoot a 67 on the first lap and maybe found his new favorite club.
“I hit it right off the tee and with some good approaches I was able to create some really nice birdie looks,” he said on Thursday. “Honestly, yes, I think from the standpoint of accuracy, I think [Hahn’s] Driver could be better. “
Hopefully Hahn will be rewarded for his generosity when Hovland cashes in big this weekend.
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