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It wasn’t supposed to be like this for a Masters debutant. 

Ludvig Aberg, though, wasn’t just any rookie at Augusta National.

The Swedish sensation finished runner-up on his first ever major championship appearance as he aimed to become the first debutant to win a Green Jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller back in 1979.

Aberg was the closest challenger to the imperious Scottie Scheffler in Georgia and has now emerged as a genuine superstar in the game, barely a year after turning professional.

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His breakthrough in just 10 months has now included wins on both the PGA and DP World Tours, an emphatic Ryder Cup debut and a solo second finish on his first major start.

It’s no surprise then, that despite a near miss at Augusta, Aberg was only taking the positives.

“First of all, playing here at Augusta National is a dream come true,” he said. “Just to be in this situation and feel the nerves and feel the pressure walking down the last couple holes is what you dream of.

“This is what I have been wanting to do for such a long time, and it’s quite surreal to actually have the opportunity to experience it. But I’m so proud of me, myself and all of the people on my team and my family and everyone involved.”

For Aberg, there will be lessons learned from his closing 69, that included five birdies but a crushing double bogey at the start of Amen Corner.

“Obviously it wasn’t ideal to hit it in the water on 11,” he said. “I think we all know that.  Me and my team, we’ve focused a lot on just keep playing no matter what happens.

“I think if you just keep playing, skills are going to show up. I think once you stop playing, that’s when you — the skills are not showing up, and I think we did a great job of that.

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“It was a good example of just keep playing, just to make sure to keep the ball in front of you, and there’s a lot of holes left to be played. I think me finishing well after those couple holes were pretty encouraging to see.

“I felt like coming into this week, I felt like I was playing well and I was swinging the way I wanted to.

“But, you know, there’s so much more to golf. There’s a lot of things that needs to come together, and I felt like we did a lot of golf stuff the last couple of weeks. We’ve been working on a few things, me and my team, my coaches.

“And it’s nice to see that kind of come through on this stage and to know that I’m able to pull off a certain amount of shots and hit the putts the way I want to, and it’s just very encouraging and I want to do it again and again.”

Aberg has now moved up to No.7 in the world and is already being widely fancied to win his first major in his first full season as a professional.

“Everyone in my position, they are going to want to be major champions,” he added. “They are going to want to be world No. 1s, and it’s the same for me, and that’s nothing different.

“It’s been that way ever since I picked up a golf club, and that hasn’t changed. So I think this week solidifies a lot of those things are there, and we just need to keep doing those things and put ourselves in positions to win tournaments.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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