Ryder Cup: European star Viktor Hovland admits he's 'not a fan' of 2023 venue in Italy

One of the key figures in Europe's bid to win back the Ryder Cup next year has admitted he is not a fan of host venue the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

The Europeans are preparing to mount a fightback in Italy after suffering a humbling 19-9 defeat to the United States at Whistling Straits last year.

But one of their star players, Norway's Viktor Hovland, wasn't bowled over by the host course after getting an opportunity to test it out at this year's Italian Open.

"It is a bit disappointing, I must say," Hovland said in an interview with Eurosport Norway. "I'm not a fan of the design of the track itself."

Hovland made his Ryder Cup debut in Wisconsin last year and mostly struggled along with the rest of his teammates, managing only two half points from the five matches he played.

But the 25-year-old has continued to make strides in his career over the last 12 months and is sure to be a pivotal figure for Europe in Rome next year.

Because the course presents such a demanding physical test, however, Hovland reckons it will be tough for players to feature in all five sessions of the competition.

"It is up and down a large mountain, so it will be difficult to walk. Honestly, I think people will struggle to play 36 holes, and especially the caddies," he said.

Even worse, Hovland feels the course plays against the European contingent's strengths.

"I don't think it suits the Europeans very well. When you're first going to make a course for the Europeans in the Ryder Cup, it's pretty disappointing to end up with that product," he added.

Hovland was also critical of the course's controversial par-3 seventh hole, which features a treacherous three-tiered green.

"You have a green that has three different plateaus, but they go down and away from you.

"You stand there with a four-iron in your hand with water to the left and a right side which is not particularly good either. I said 'this is the worst hole I've ever played.'"

Hovland added that he hoped any changes to the hole including "blowing up" the whole green.

The 2023 Ryder Cup tees off on Friday, 29 September 2023 and concludes the following Sunday.

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