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A generational talent.
That’s how Ludvig Aberg keeps being described by his captain Luke Donald, who seems almost giddy about the prospect he has at his disposal in this year’s Ryder Cup.
Thomas Bjorn, the winning European skipper in 2018, is just as excited about the team’s new phenomenon.
“I think if he was British, there would be a lot more hype about him and a lot earlier, but that’s just the nature of the game,” Bjorn, one of Donald’s five assistants in Rome, told bunkered.co.uk at Wentworth as Aberg gears up for his debut in blue and gold.
“I’ve seen a lot of golfers in my time on tour and when you walk up and down the range it’s not often I stop. But I do stop for Ludvig. He’s an exceptional talent so we’re excited about what we have, we really are.
“Generational talent was the word that was used and I agree with that. Luke believes a lot in him but a lot of the players in the team believe in him. He is an exceptional talent and just a wonderful kid to be around which does help.
“We have a lot of hope and high expectations for him and where he goes with his golf.”
No pressure, then, for the 23-year-old who has already been batting off comparisons with football legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic and, bizarrely, popstars Abba this week as he starts to adjust to life as one of Sweden’s most famous exports.
Aberg, of course, is the least experienced player in Ryder Cup history. He only joined the paid-ranks in June and has not played in a single major championship.
Bjorn even thought Europe’s resident stats geek Edoardo Molinari was “mad” when Aberg was name-checked last summer whilst he was producing off-the-scale numbers in the college system.
Yet there is something distinctly “different” about Aberg. His rise from college golf in Texas to the Ryder Cup in four months has been most striking in its serenity.
After Jon Rahm, he was the only the second player in history to win two Ben Hogan awards as the best college player in the US.
He more than held his own on the PGA Tour, was tasked by Donald to prove himself on European soil, so went and won his first pro tournament, the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre.
History suggests the wildcard selection of this rookie should be a risk, but Aberg seems anything but.
And while nobody is immune to Ryder Cup first tee jitters, Bjorn feels Aberg is as equipped as anyone to cope in the most unique and intimidating setting in the sport.
“He is cool and he is very calm,” Bjorn says. “But as any player, if he stands on that tee in Friday morning at the Ryder Cup it will hit you. It’s preparing him to deal with that situation.
“That’s where you find out a lot about yourself but we have a strong belief in the team he has on a daily basis around him and we will also help him in our captaincy team.
“We think he’ll deal with this situation the right way but being nervous and feeling a bit overwhelmed is something we know any player will feel walking on the first tee at a Ryder Cup.”
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