Many examples of rookies rising to the situation and making match-winning contributions in Ryder Cup history. Still, Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg is already creating headlines before even striking a ball in anger.
With four each for Europe and the United States, the 23-year-old is one of eight rookies competing in the 44th edition of the biannual competition, but he is by far the most anticipated.
Veteran Americans Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark, who won their first major championships this year at the British Open and the U.S. Open, respectively, are two of those eight.
On the other hand, Aberg just graduated from Texas Tech, just became a pro in June, and is the first person to ever participate in the Ryder Cup without competing in a major event.
Aberg won his first professional competition 75 days after entering the paid ranks, defeating a talented field in the European Masters. Aberg had swept the college golf awards.
It is no surprise to those in the know that he has suddenly appeared on the scene. Rory McIlroy, the symbol of Europe, remarked, “I was on the bandwagon before,” after first seeing him up close. “I’m definitely in the lead right now,”
The third-ranked golfer in the world and Masters winner from Spain, Jon Rahm, is already being compared to Aberg. Luke Donald, the captain of Europe, was “blown away” by Aberg while they were playing together and dubbed him a “generational talent.”
When a media representative said that Aberg was already as well-known as other Swedes like pop music legends Abba and tennis legend Bjorn Borg, Aberg tried to downplay the hype.
“I don’t think I could compare myself to Abba. In every event I participate in, all I want to do is play golf and take as few strokes as possible,” he remarked.
The muscular Swede displays admirable composure as he prepares to make his Ryder Cup debut, but many believe he may shine on the Marco Simone course and be Donald’s ace in the hole.
When he requested Aberg to come over and play more DP World Tour tournaments, Donald first felt it was a long shot for a selection, but he now has no doubts that Aberg is prepared.
He exudes an air of total calm. He speaks quietly. He listens, Donald said to reporters this week at Marco Simone. I’m happy to have him on the squad because “every time he’s sort of asked a question about trying to perform, he’s able to step up.”
Although Aberg is receiving much attention, the other seven rookies will significantly influence the Ryder Cup’s fate.
Zach Johnson’s foursome is much stronger on paper. The average world rating of Harman, Clark, Max Homa, and Sam Burns is 11.5, while in Europe, Aberg is ranked 80th, Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark is 82nd, Robert MacIntyre of Scotland is 55th, and Sepp Straka of Austria is 22nd.
But the Ryder Cup frequently defies golf logic, with amateurs finding motivation amid the great.
“Going into that team room with what you would call superstars, they are just normal human beings,” MacIntyre told the press. They have adopted me as one of their own. It’s been fantastic, and I can’t wait to start.
After an unbelievable year, American Clark’s Ryder Cup qualifying is the cherry on top.
The 29-year-old told reporters, “I can’t believe I’m here.” “I still pinch myself daily but will try to be in grind mode once we get rolling.
Being regarded as one of the top 12 American players is such an enormous honor since this is the summit of golf.