Ludvig Aberg, Justin Rose among Europe's Ryder Cup picks

September 4, 2023, 10:19 AM

Former Texas Tech star Ludvig Aberg will play for Europe in the upcoming Ryder Cup, less than four months after he turned pro.

Aberg, from Sweden, was one of European captain  Luke Donald's six captain's picks that were announced Monday. Donald also chose England's Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose, Austria's Sepp Straka, Ireland's Shane Lowry and Denmark's Nicolai Hojgaard.

"It's been quite a lot these last couple of months, but it's been so exciting," Aberg said. "I can't wait for Rome."

Aberg, 23, secured his spot on the European roster with a 2-shot victory at the European Masters in Switzerland on Sunday in only his ninth start as a pro. Aberg will be the most inexperienced player to ever compete in the Ryder Cup.

"He showed yesterday in [Switzerland] that he has the potential to be one of golf's superstars," Donald said. "We obviously knew what he was doing in the college scene. Look at what he did those four years. The only comparables really were Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm in the last 20 years. He's that good with what he was doing. We were obviously keeping an eye on him."

Donald said he played with Aberg at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and "was blown away by his game." Aberg tied for fourth at the John Deere Classic the next week and tied for 14th at the Wyndham Championship. Aberg's driving average of 317 yards would rank third on the PGA Tour if he had had enough qualifying rounds, behind only Rory McIlroy (326.3) and Brandon Matthews (321.2).

"He continued to progress, and I challenged him and said, 'Come over to Europe and play for a couple of weeks,'" Donald said.

Aberg tied for fourth at the Czech Masters in Prague last month before picking up his first professional victory Sunday. He had four birdies in the last five holes to defeat Sweden's Alexander Björk by 2 strokes.

Aberg was a two-time winner of the Ben Hogan Award as college golf's best player and was the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world.

"If you would have told me a couple of months ago that I was going to be in these kinds of conversations, I probably would not have believed you," Aberg said. "Obviously, I'm super, super fortunate to be in this position. I can't thank the captain and vice captains enough."

Aberg will be one of four rookies competing for the Europeans at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club outside Rome from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Straka, Hojgaard and FedEx Cup champion Hovland, an automatic qualifier, also will be making their first appearances.

Along with Hovland, McIlroy and Rahm, England's Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick and Scotland's Robert MacIntyre were automatic qualifiers.

The Europeans will try to avenge a 19-9 loss to the Americans at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in 2021. The Europeans have won the past six Ryder Cups outside the U.S. The Americans' last victory on foreign soil was a 15-13 win at The Belfry in Warwickshire, England, in 1993.