After becoming the first Norwegian to win the U.S. Amateur title in 2018, Hovland was the low amateur in finishing joint 32nd at the following year’s Masters – a result that lifted him to the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
He then improved on his Masters placing by 20 spots in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, carding a four-under-par total of 280 which broke the championship record for an amateur set by Jack Nicklaus in 1960.
Hovland decided to turn professional rather than travel to The Open at Royal Portrush and in February last year he lifted his first PGA Tour crown at the Puerto Rico Open.
A second success followed in December with a closing birdie at the Mayakoba Classic and, after two runner-up finishes and two third-places this year, he secured his maiden European Tour title at the recent BMW International Open.
It all helped him to reach 11th in the Official World Golf Rankings, a two-year leap of more than 1,000 places, and he needed only to be in the top 50 to qualify for his Open debut at Royal St George’s.