Viktor Hovland feels he has turned a corner with his game and is looking forward with a positive mindset.
The Norwegian is back at a happy hunting ground in Mayakoba, as he seeks a hat-trick of wins at the World Wide Technology Championship.
Steve Stricker was the latest player to win an event three years in a row when landing the John Deere Classic in 2011.
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Hovland was among the favourites before the event began, but his position towards the head of the market was down to his record at the venue rather than current form.
After winning the World Wide Technology Championship and Hero World Challenge in back-to-back outings at this time last year, Hovland struggled for consistency.
He showed flashes of quality with a second-placed finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but his play through the summer was inconsistent at best.
Hovland said in September that he was close to figuring out the issues with his ball-striking.
A tied-fifth finish in the ZOZO Championship last month suggested he was on the right path, and he made a bright start at Mayakoba with a round of 65.
“It has been an up and down season,” Hovland said. “I have played a lot of good golf, but not as consistently as I would have liked - especially in the ball-striking department.
“Coming back here, with how narrow it is, it kind of makes me find the shots that I need to hit.
“I feel like I have turned a corner the last couple of months. My game is in a good spot and being back here I am seeing the shots I need to hit.”

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Hovland added that his aim is to cut out the Hollywood golf and focus on doing the basics well.
“I feel like I’m a way more impressive player now than I was when I first came out, but I need to, now, bring it back a little to get those shots that are more predictable,” the 25-year-old said. “It doesn’t have to be flashy, or you don’t have to hit high draws because it looks nice on certain holes.
“I think that’s 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.
“I just need to get back to knowing where the ball’s going and it should be fun.”
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