(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Team Europe is already putting on a show for the home fans a day before the Ryder Cup begins in Rome.
Viktor Hovland of Norway made a rare hole-in-one at a par-4 hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club during a practice round Thursday.
Hovland's ace came at the par-4 fifth hole, playing a mere 302 yards. His teammates' balls were already on the green when Hovland hit his 3-wood and watched his ball roll perfectly at the flagstick.
In stroke play, such a shot would count for 3 under par, same as an albatross at a par-5. It's occurred just once in PGA Tour history, when Andrew Magee did so at the 2001 Phoenix Open when his shot glanced off the putter of another player standing on the green.
Hovland claimed his first FedEx Cup last month by winning the final two legs of the playoffs, culminating with the Tour Championship.
He is paired with fellow Scandinavian rising star Ludvig Aberg of Sweden for Friday's opening foursomes match against the U.S. team's Max Homa and Brian Harman.
"I think we're looking forward to getting off to a nice start," Hovland said Thursday. "We can put some blue on early on the leaderboard and just follow in the trend where the Europeans did in the Solheim Cup and the Junior Ryder Cup earlier today. So I think we've got the momentum."
For the United States' sake, at least Hovland's hole-in-one came before the competition began.
--Field Level Media