Questioned on the sidelines of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, Rory McIlroy did not hide that his meeting with the young 23-year-old Swede Ludvig Aberg, surprise at the selection of Luke Donald, exceeded all his expectations.
Rory McIlroy, statements
Like the Americans at the end of last week, on Monday it was the turn of the 12 players from the European Ryder Cup selection to travel to Rome to discover the hyper-demanding “set up” of the Marco Simone course less than 3 weeks before the 44th edition of the Europe – United States clash.
During his press conference, preceding the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, Rory McIlroy admitted to having been enthusiastic about this short stay which allowed him to feel the first scents of the very particular feeling of camaraderie specific to the Ryder Cup.
But it was his meeting with Ludvig Aberg, who turned pro in June and surprise choice of the English captain after his victory in Crans, which had the biggest impact on the Northern Irishman. When asked if the Omega European Masters winner lived up to his expectations, McIlroy confirms: “He exceeded them!
There are several new faces on the team and it was a great opportunity to get to know each other better. I had the opportunity to play with Ludvig for the first time on Monday and I was excited”. While observers are full of praise for the way the former amateur world number 1 drives the ball, Rory has also discovered other qualities in the 23-year-old Swede that could prove useful in Rome at the end of September.
“I was impressed with his wedge play and how he can control the flight of the ball with more open clubs. Anyone who watches him play golf can see his potential and the talent he possesses”. In the absence of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy will have to take on a new role in the locker room and on the course.
Despite the status of hyper favorites of the Americans and the relative inexperience of several members of the European team, the world number 2 does not seem worried. Note that before going to Italy, Rory will make a trip to Mykonos for the bachelor party of one of his friends. “I will have a few days to recover before the Ryder Cup”. he explained.