Monday, June 17, 2024

Ryder Cup: Luke Donald backs Ludvig Aberg to impress for Team Europe after getting captain’s pick

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Ludvig Aberg named as a captain’s pick for Europe’s Ryder Cup team, despite only making nine starts as a professional; Swede won his maiden DP World Tour title at the Omega European Masters on Sunday; watch the Ryder Cup live from September 29-October 1 on Sky Sports Golf

Luke Donald has described Ludvig Aberg as a “generational player” and has backed his captain’s pick to impress at the Ryder Cup for Team Europe.

Aberg only switched from the amateur ranks in June and has competed in just nine professional events, but received a wildcard selection after a breakthrough victory at the Omega European Masters on Sunday.

The Swede claimed a two-shot victory in Switzerland and moved inside the world’s top 100, enough to earn selection along with Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Nicolai Hojgaard, with Donald “blown away” by Aberg’s ability.

Highlights from the fourth round of the Omega European Masters, where Ludvig Aberg claimed an impressive victory

“We obviously knew what he was doing in the college scene,” Donald said. “You look at what he did in those four years and the only comparables really were Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm. He is that good.

“I played with him in Detroit and was blown away by his game. He continued to impress and I challenged him to come over to Europe and play a couple (of events).

Team Europe captain Luke Donald reveals why Ludvig Aberg was selected as one of his six picks to complete his Ryder Cup line up.

“He was tied-fourth in the Czech Masters and you know what he did yesterday. It was like a walk in the park for him and for someone that is so inexperienced it was just so, so impressive.

“I really do have a lot of faith and belief in Ludvig. He is a generational player, he’s going to be around a long time and he’s going to 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.

Team Europe captain Luke Donald’s 12 man Ryder Cup team is complete – meet the golfers looking to win back the trophy.

“He proved it on Sunday, he’s a cool customer too. The statistics show he would be the No 1 driver this year, ahead of Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler.”

Aberg gets ‘goosebumps’ over Ryder Cup call-up

Aberg only made his professional debut at the RBC Canadian Open in June and played alongside Donald at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit later that month, before following top-four finishes at the John Deere Classic and D+D Real Czech Masters with his impressive Swiss success.

Ludvig Aberg will make a Ryder Cup debut for Team Europe this month in Rome

“Obviously getting that call from Luke [Donald], I get goosebumps just thinking about it,” Aberg said. “It was the same thing yesterday to be in the conversation, to be with those group of guys and to be able to have those people next to me competing for a Ryder Cup in Rome will be very cool.

“I feel like it [Ryder Cup] has always been there and it’s always been a motivation for me. Obviously growing up in Europe and in Sweden, you want to be part of these teams at some point during your career, but I didn’t realise this was going to be this quickly.

Hear from the six players that Ryder Cup Team Europe captain Luke Donald has selected as his captain’s picks to play against the USA in Rome later this month.

“I’ve enjoyed the challenge. I’ve enjoyed the kind of journey to get to the team, and I was just listening to Justin Rose before and he said it very well, this is just the starting line and starting point of the whole kind of thing, and I’m looking forward to it.

“I would say that I’m pretty good at staying in the moment, staying in the present and not get too high up, not get too far low and not get too far ahead of myself. I think that’s one of the reasons why I was able to stand out in college in amateur golf is that I was able to have my emotion intact.

Henni Koyack and Zane Scotland use the Audi Performance Zone to explain how Ludvig Aberg uses the ground in his swing.

“That’s what I try to do. I think these last couple of months has shown that pretty well, as well. I know there’s been a lot of talk and a lot of noise that I would call it, and I’ve been able to play pretty good golf during that same period of time.”

Is Aberg pick a risk?

Aberg has made the quickest transition from the amateur game to the Ryder Cup in the tournament’s history, breaking the previous record held by Sergio Garcia in 1999, although enjoyed a glittering career before turning professional.

Countdown to the Ryder Cup

The 23-year-old has only played six DP World Tour events and has yet to appear in a major, although Sky Sports News’ Jamie Weir is expecting Aberg to impress in Rome later this month.

“I cannot stress this enough, this guy is going to be a superstar,” Weir told Sky Sports. “Donald played with him Detroit and said that it was like playing against Rory McIlroy when he first burst on to the scene.

Team Europe will have four rookies in their line-up for the Ryder Cup

“He is completely unfazed, he is just a complete natural and he won his first tournament yesterday in incredible fashion. This guy is going to be around for a long time to come.

“It’s not a risk at all, he is going to fit in and won’t be phased that he has major champions. I’m really excited to see him. Hojgaard and Aberg are going to be the backbone of Ryder cup in years to come.”

Watch the Ryder Cup this month exclusively live Sky Sports. Live coverage of the opening day begins on Friday September 29 from 6am on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, Ryder Cup and more for £26 a month for 12 months with NOW.

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