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Viktor Hovland looks ahead to "really special" partnership with Garcia, Kaymer

Viktor Hovland looks ahead to
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Viktor Hovland withdrew from the US Open after getting sand in his eye during practice.

Viktor Hovland has fully recovered from the eye injury which forced him out of the US Open and will be all ears when he partners Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer in the BMW International Open.

Hovland withdrew midway through his second round last week after getting sand in his eye as he practised at Torrey Pines.

The 23-year-old Norwegian explained what had happened in an Instagram post which included a picture of him wearing a patch over his eye and proved that at least his sense of humour had not been affected.

"Typically, when faced with such an unfortunate circumstance, the remedial action is to blink a few times for the sand to clear," Hovland wrote.

"However, the unique San Diego sand decided to linger. Much like the stubborn belly fat we all possess even after countless of hours of cardio."

Speaking after making the long journey to Munich for his seventh regular European Tour event, Hovland said: "It was a weird week. It seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

"Thankfully I had a good doctor who supervised me a little bit, even throughout the round and after I withdrew he gave me some kind of cream to put on my eye.

Viktor Hovland
Norway's Viktor Hovland (right) during day two of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth (Bradley Collyer/PA)

"He said the eye has one of the fastest growing tissues in the body so I was lucky when I woke up the next day I was all good again."

Hovland currently occupies an automatic qualifying place for Europe's Ryder Cup team and will try to learn as much as possible from playing partners Garcia and Kaymer over the first two days in Munich.

Garcia became Europe's all-time leading points scorer in the 2018 victory in Paris, while Kaymer was appointed a vice-captain by Padraig Harrington on Wednesday.

"I've looked up to Sergio and Martin when I was younger watching them in Ryder Cups and other events," Hovland added. "Just to have the chance to be around them the next couple of days I think is going to be really special.

"I'm going to try to ask as many questions as I can without being in the way. They are both great guys and it would be really cool to be on a team with both of them."

Hovland is also looking forward to being part of Norway's Olympic team in Tokyo, in contrast to the likes of Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and world number two Dustin Johnson, who have all opted out of the Games.

"It's unfortunate that we're in the times that we're in and certainly it's not going to be maybe as fun as it was in Rio, but just to have a chance to represent my country, regardless of how strict the policies in place will be, I think it's going to be a great honour and we'll have a good time regardless," Hovland said.

"Growing up I always dreamed about playing in majors and being in the Ryder Cup team, it wasn't necessarily to be in the Olympics because we didn't even have the chance to do so as Rio was the first time they brought golf back.

"But given the tradition that Norway has in other sports in the Olympics, it means maybe a lot more to me as a Norwegian compared to other countries that don't maybe view it in the same way.

"Norway has such a high respect towards athletes that have been in the Olympics. Just to be in the same spotlight as those athletes, that I also respect, that's something really cool."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina22131247
United StatesUnited States19201352
JapanJapan175830
AustraliaAustralia1331430
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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