May 18, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Viktor Hovland reacts after a putt on the seventh green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the final round of the PGA Championship, Viktor Hovland is firmly in contention and just two shots out of the lead in a tie for fourth place.

Hovland finding himself in the mix to win his first major wouldn’t have been a surprise at the end of 2023. He won the Tour Championship/FedEx Cup and two other tournaments, had three top tens in majors, and was fourth in the world golf rankings.

But then 2024 happened and Hovland’s game fell off a cliff. So far this season he hasn’t even sniffed a Top 10 on the tour and missed the cut at The Masters. Just how bad was it for the 26 year old Norwegian star? He admitted to Jason Sobel in a SiriusXM interview that he almost considered pulling out of this year’s PGA Championship because he was playing so badly in a remarkably honest and forthright interview.

All credit to Sobel for getting that kind of information out of Hovland and continuing to follow up on the stunning admission, even getting him to say, “Damn it, I shouldn’t have said that.” Even though he may have instantly regretted it, it’s great to hear an athlete open up about their struggles and just how fickle confidence can be in golf, when the very best in the world sometimes feel helpless.

One of the reasons Hovland may have decided to stick it out? He reunited with his old swing coach Joe Mayo who helped him during last season’s run of success before trying out some new things this year. That turned out to be a much wiser decision than withdrawing from the sport’s second major championship all together.