Luke Donald ‘blown away’ by Ludvig Aberg as Swede handed Ryder Cup wild card
Europe captain Luke Donald admitted he had been “blown away” by the ability of Ludvig Aberg after handing the rising star one of his six wild cards for the 44th Ryder Cup in Rome.
Former world number one amateur Aberg only turned professional in June, but won the final qualifying event in Switzerland on Sunday with a final round of 64 at Crans-sur-Sierre.
The 23-year-old Swede has made the quickest transition from the amateur ranks to the Ryder Cup in the contest’s history, eclipsing the previous record set by Sergio Garcia, who made his debut in 1999 after turning professional following April’s Masters.
Aberg was selected along with Tommy Fleetwood, Sepp Straka, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Nicolai Hojgaard, with Poland’s Adrian Meronk missing out despite winning the Italian Open at the host venue in May.
The six wild cards join automatic qualifiers Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, Tyrrell Hatton and Robert MacIntyre in Donald’s team, which will attempt to regain the trophy at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club from September 29 to October 1.
Speaking about Aberg, Donald said: “We obviously knew what he was doing in the college scene. 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).
“He was fifth (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.
“He proved it on Sunday, he’s a cool customer too. The statistics show he would be the number one driver this year, ahead of Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler.”
Asked about the players who missed out on selection, Donald added: “There were a number of players that you could make a good argument to be on that team that aren’t. Those are difficult decisions.
“I’ve been in that position myself, I know what it feels like and it’s gut-wrenching. I spoke to them all and it’s never easy but they handled it with class.”
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