In the last 40 seasons on the PGA Tour only three players have won the same tournament in three consecutive years, although Tiger Woods did it at six different events and won two of them four years in succession. The last player to achieve the feat was Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic (2009-11), while Stuart Appleby claimed the Sentry Tournament of Champions from 2004-2006. However, defending champion Hovland is only second favourite behind world number two Scottie Scheffler, who can reclaim top spot in the rankings from Rory McIlroy with a win or solo second, while two-time major champion Collin Morikawa is also in the field. "It would be awesome (to win for the third straight year)," Hovland told a pre-tournament press conference at El Camaleon Golf Club in Mayakoba. "The PGA Tour has been around for a while and it's not something that's happening all the time, although it does seem like more and more guys are defending their titles recently. "To win three times in a row is certainly pretty special and it's only been three guys in total that's done that before. It's pretty elite company so I would love that." Hovland made his PGA Tour debut at Mayakoba in 2018 while still an amateur and although he missed the cut on that occasion and the following year, the world number 11 is a combined 43 under par for his two wins. The 25-year-old won his maiden PGA Tour title in Puerto Rico and has also tasted victory in Germany and Dubai on the DP World Tour, but feels he needs to become a more "predictable" player. Asked about his goals for the season, Hovland said: "I'm not a big goal setter in terms of results. It's more about process goals.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 2, 2022
"I have ideas or goals in the sense that I want to be able to hit certain shots or I want to chip it better, putt it better and stuff like that. "I think right now my goal is to just try to simplify things. I did a really good job the last one or two years to push the ceiling a little bit higher. "I feel like I'm a way more impressive player now than I was when I first came out, but I need to now kind of almost bring it back a little bit to get back to these shots that are a little bit more predictable. "It doesn't have to be as flashy or you don't have to hit high draws just because it looks nice on certain holes, you need to know where the ball's going. "I think that's kind of the main thing for me, because I've become a way better putter than I was the first two years and I really feel like I've turned a corner around the greens as well. "So I just need to get back to knowing where the ball's going and it should be fun."
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