In the shadows of the Swiss Alps, Ludvig Aberg announced himself on golf’s world stage in the most timeliest fashion
From one “cool cucumber” to another – it takes one to know one.
That’s European Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald’s description of how the Swedish rookie went about his business at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, making Aberg his sixth and final Captain’s Pick for golf’s forthcoming gladiatorial battle in Rome.
Golf, like every sport, is as much about timing as it is about talent. Many have the ability to win on Tour, but few can do it when it really matters, and after falling two behind with five holes remaining, Aberg knew it was a case of now or never in the closing stages of the Omega European Masters.
King of the Mountains
And Alberg chose the former, rattling off four straight birdies to grab the tournament by the scruff of the neck and see off his countryman Alexander Bjork by two shots, and soon-to-be teammate Matt Fitzpatrick by three.
Even a second-place finish may not have been enough for Donald to overlook Poland’s Adrian Meronk who will consider himself unlucky not to make the cut after winning the Italian Open earlier this season.
The win lifted Aberg to a new high of 90 in the Official Golf World Rankings, up 110 places, and few ‘in-the-know’ will truly believe this is where the Swede will stop climbing.
‘A generational player’
Speaking to SkySports after announcing Aberg in his 12-man lineup for Rome, Donald said: “He’s going to be around a long time and do amazing things. If he wasn’t going to play this one, he was going to play the next eight Ryder Cups, that’s how good I think he is.”
High praise indeed from Donald, someone who knows more than most what it takes to reach golf’s summit, and likely sees a little of his own journey in Aberg’s first, not so tentative, footsteps on tour.
Like Donald, Aberg honed his craft in the United States collegiate system, where he was named the Ben Hogan Award winner, as the best college player, for two successive years – a feat matched only by a certain Jon Rahm.
Aberg’s inclusion completes a European team with a distinctly Scandinavian feel, featuring Norwegian and 2023 FedExCup Champion – Viktor Hovaland, and two-time DP World Tour winner from Denmark – Nicolai Hojgaard.
Aberg’s participation in this uprising has been less than patient however, taking a mere 75 days to register his first professional win, after ending his amateur career as number one in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Form is everything in golf, and Donald has clearly not underestimated the role of confidence in trying to wrestle the 1927 Trophy back from a resurgent Team USA.
Sprinkle in the invaluable experience of Ryder Cup veterans Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy, and the recent Major winning clout of Matt Fitzpatrick and Jon Rahm, and Donald will believe he has struck the perfect balance.
‘Strike while the irons hot’ seems to be the thinking, and Aberg’s irons are about the hottest in town right now.
About the author
Golf Equipment Writer
Ross Tugwood is a golf equipment writer for todays-golfer.com, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation. He’s also an expert in golf apparel and has a keen interest in sustainability.
Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.
He has post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.
Ross lives in Snowdonia National Park with his wife and 40 kg Bernese Mountain dog! He is a member of Porthmadog Golf Club with a handicap index of 13.8.
Away from golf, Ross enjoys hiking, trail running, and supporting the mighty Bristol Bears.
Ross uses a Cobra King SZ Speedzone driver, Titleist TSi2 3-Wood, TaylorMade Sim2 Rescue, Callaway Apex Pro irons (4-PW), Cleveland 588 RTX wedges (52°, 58°), TaylorMade Spider Ex putter, and a TaylorMade Tour Response golf ball.