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Swedish superstar Ludvig Åberg is set to make his Masters debut this week, after only turning professional last year.

The 24-year-old has experience on his side, though, having won the Ryder Cup with Team Europe in October.

But Åberg is expecting to face some nerves throughout his first spin around Augusta National Golf Club. The 88th edition of the Masters will get underway on Thursday. caught up with the Rolex Testimonee to find out the emotions behind his bid to become just the fourth player to win the Masters on debut.

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You had an exceptional 2023, can you describe how life on tour has changed for you?

When I turned professional, I had obviously placed expectations on myself, but I think that I exceeded them quite quickly in terms of what we were able to do. It was a lot of fun, and it has opened a lot of doors in terms of the tournaments that I can play in the future and opportunities that I can pursue.

It is important to me that I do not change, and that I remain the person that I am. I think that this is what I try to stay very true to. Life on the golf course has changed and it’s all for the good, I think.

Ludvig Aberg Masters debut
Ludvig Aberg on his Ryder Cup debut at Marco Simone (Credit: Rolex)

In November you went on to win your first PGA Tour event, the RSM Classic. How did it feel to claim your first victory on the PGA Tour?

It was amazing and obviously a dream come true. I was able to play that tournament as an amateur and I have previously played a few amateur events at Sea Island Golf Club, so that place is very special to me.

It was an amazing week, and it was my last chance to get into the top 50 of the World Rankings, and I remembered that I wanted to do that before the New Year, so that I could qualify for The Masters.

It was very satisfying to be able to do that when I knew I had to and then to obviously win the tournament in the way that I did was the icing on the cake.

With this victory you moved into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings and with that secured your invitation to the 2024 Masters. How much does this mean to you and how excited are you to compete in your first major?

It is going to be nerve wracking and a lot of anticipation, a lot of nerves coming up, but I am super excited.

I always think that those nerves are a good thing, a privilege to feel those nerves and I try to view it that way and I’m sure I’ll walk up on the first tee box and won’t be able to feel my legs, my arms and such things, but it’s also a dream come true and that’s what I’ll try to have in the back of my mind and something I have been wanting to do since the day I picked up a golf club when I was little. I honestly can’t wait for it.

What are your earliest memories of the Masters?

One of the memories that I have which stands out is when Peter Hanson was playing in the final group with Phil Mickelson and unfortunately, he didn’t play that well, but he still finished third.

I remember watching that and the play-off where Bubba Watson hit a hook from the trees and go on to win the playoff. These are two moments that really stand out for me.

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You have a chance to become only the fourth player in the history of the game to win the iconic Green Jacket on debut. How will you prepare for this tournament and what emotions are you experiencing knowing that you will be competing in the Masters for the first time?

Obviously, it is a major championship, and I have never played in one, so that will be a new experience, but I am sure that we will come up with a plan.

There will be a lot of different emotions and things coming my way, but I will need to be okay with that, and dealing with being overwhelmed at times is going to be important for me. At the end of the day, it’s very easy to say but it is just golf, but luckily for me, that’s what I know best, and I’ll try to keep it that way.

What I really love about the game of golf is the history that comes with it and there is no other place better than that of Augusta in the world. That’s what’s going to be really cool for me, to go there and remember all those iconic shots and what’s transpired on that golf course. That will be the most profound thing for me.

What are you most looking forward to?

It will be nerve wracking. There is going to be a lot of anticipation and a lot of nerves coming up, but I am super excited. I always think that those nerves are a good thing, and it is a privilege to feel those nerves. I try to view it that way.

Are there sections of the golf course that excite you to play them, and what part of your game do you anticipate you will have to lean on to be competitive that weekend?

I think that there are a lot of things that will suit my game. Off the tee is going to be really important to be able to curve the ball both ways with some of these tree lines. I think being good off the tee is important where you get a lot of chances coming into the greens, where I feel that this is one of my strengths.

Then coming down to the last couple of holes where you do get some risk and reward holes, such as 13 and 15, where you can make a lot of birdies, but you can also make a few high numbers. Those holes are going to be very important and I think that I am up for the challenge and am really excited about that.

The Masters has produced some of the most iconic moments within sports history. What are your three most iconic Masters moments?

When Tiger Woods won it in 2019. I remember watching it from home. I think when he hit his shot on 16 which was pretty close to a couple of feet and made the putt was obviously one of them. I am a big Tiger fan so that was cool to see him complete that come back.

I always remember watching the first tee shots when Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player teed off together and that really resonates with the whole tournament and with the whole environment that they have created where it is very important to remember the history and to remember what the people before you have done.

That is what really makes Augusta special.

Ludvig Aberg is bidding to become the first Masters rookie to win since 1979 (Credit: Rolex)

Ludvig Åberg was speaking to as a Rolex Testimonee, an association which began in 2023.

Can you describe what it is like to join the Rolex family, alongside the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Annika Sörenstam?

When you put it like that, it is very special. It is something that I am unbelievably proud to be a part of. Rolex is an unbelievable company and I have known about them for a very long time. Rolex stands for so much more than just excellence; it’s the respect and the history of all the sports that it is involved with, and this aligns with a lot of the aspects that I love about the history. The reputation and what they stand for is one of the aspects that I am most proud of.

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