The biggest surprise in Luke Donald's wild cards for the Ryder Cup in Rome has come from Sweden. Ludvig Aberg has secured a place in the European selection 77 days after turning professional. And he did it less than 24 hours after his first career victory on the DP World Tour (in his second race played with pro status).
Too easy to call it predestined. Ludvig Aberg was born in Eslöv in Sweden 23 years ago. As an amateur, he won the Ben Hogan Award twice as the best college player in the United States. He was number one in the world in the amateur rankings and from world leader he turned professional in June.
He has played six races so far on the DP World Tour and has never played a Major. In the World Ranking he occupies the number 90 position. After Luke Donald's summons, Ludvig Aberg met with the press from half the world and, with absolute frankness, answered all the questions.
Here is a brief summary.
Ludvig Aberg, statements
“The first time was in Detroit in July when Luke Donald and I played on the same team for two rounds. Things went very well for me that day (“He shot within 9 in the first sixteen holes as if nothing had happened” admitted the Team Europe captain).
But then I didn't think too much about it, I think I did well not to delude myself at the time of him. Playing in the Ryder Cup has always been a dream and a push to do better for me, as a European and as a Swede. Being part of Team Europe one day was a goal of my career but I never imagined I could achieve it so soon.
I like challenges and Justin Rose says it right: this is a starting point”. “My first memory is 2012, the Sunday of the miracle of Medinah. I watched the Swedish golfers (only Peter Hanson was on the course, ed), it was fantastic to see them on the course.
To think that now it's my turn... it seems almost unreal". “We met in Detroit, we built a personal relationship regardless of the Ryder Cup. We got to know each other slowly on a human level. Then every now and then we exchanged a few text messages, until yesterday's phone call (Sunday, ed)".
"Yes. I knew I had to win to make the team. You always play to win but the idea of the Ryder Cup was an extra motivation for me this week. It was a new and strong stimulus. On Sunday I played to win, I did well in the back nine and, luckily, I made it." “I don't think fear is the right term.
For a golfer these are the right competitions. Even in Rome I will go in search of that shot, that decisive putt to bring home a point or to win a match. I tried it in amateur competitions. I'm super excited to get to Rome because it will be nice to be part of this team and get to know the guys better.
I'm absolutely up for the challenge." "He is right. He seems to me to have good self-control on the pitch: I consider it one of my qualities. I can stay focused on the moment, without going too far if things go well or breaking down if they don't.
It was one of the decisive reasons for emerging among the amateurs and I try to do it even now, as a professional. The first two months on the Tour proved that enough. There has been a lot of writing and talking around me in this period but I managed to play quite well. On Sunday I knew I had to win to get a place in the Ryder Cup. It's confirmation that I'm doing good things."
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