LONDON (Reuters) – Europe’s latest Ryder Cup rookie Ludvig Aberg could be a ‘generational player’ who will do amazing things in the game, Europe captain Luke Donald said on Monday.
The 23-year-old Swede was named as one of Donald’s six picks for the match in Rome having won the European Masters title in Crans Montana at the weekend.
Remarkably, Aberg only turned professional in June having excelled on the U.S. college scene and will now become the first player to appear in a Ryder Cup team without contesting a major.
“I have faith in Ludvig, I think he’ll be a generational player,” Donald said after naming two other rookies, Austrian Sepp Straka and Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard, in his team.
“He’s going to be around a long time and do amazing things. If he wasn’t going to play this one, he was going to play the next eight. That’s how good I think he is.”
Aberg made his professional debut at the Canadian Open where he made the cut and in July recorded a top-five finish at the John Deere Classic, three strokes behind Straka.
His first tournament as a professional on the DP World Tour saw him finish in a tie for fourth at the Czech Masters before his dazzling victory last weekend in Switzerland.
“I challenged him to come over and play a couple of events in Europe and he tied for fifth in the Czech Republic and then yesterday, four birdies in the last five holes, he made it look like a walk in the park,” Donald said.
No other player has gone from amateur to Ryder Cup selection in such a short space of time.
“If you told me a couple of months ago I would be having these kind of conversations I wouldn’t have believed you but I’m super fortunate to be in this situation,” Aberg said.
Donald, who won on all four of his Ryder Cup appearances as a player, has no doubt that Aberg will be up to the task when the match gets under way against the U.S. in Rome on Sept. 30.
“He hits some of the most amazing shots. If you look at his statistics this year he would be the number one driver in the world ahead of Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler and those are pretty high standards for someone just coming out of college,” the Englishman said.
“We knew what he was doing in the college scene. You look at what he did in those four years and the only comparable players really were Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm. He is that good. I played with him in Detroit and was blown away by his game.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)