I want to be number one, says rising star Aberg after impressive Major debut

The 24-year-old finished second, four strokes behind winner Scottie Scheffler, after carding a final round 69

By AFP

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Sweden's Ludvig Aberg reacts after holing his putt on the 18th green. — Reuters
Sweden's Ludvig Aberg reacts after holing his putt on the 18th green. — Reuters

Published: Mon 15 Apr 2024, 7:56 PM

Swede Ludvig Aberg's bid to become the only major debutant to triumph at the Masters fell short on Sunday but his major tournament performance confirmed his status as the rising star in golf.

The 24-year-old finished second, four strokes behind winner Scottie Scheffler, after carding a final round 69 but he certainly won many admirers among the patrons at Augusta National and beyond.


And his performance has filled Aberg with self-belief.

"Everyone in my position, they are going to want to be major champions. They are going to want to be world number one, and it's the same for me, that's nothing different," he said.


"It has 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, " he said.

Aberg only turned professional in June 2023 after a stellar college and amateur career but has already made a big impact in the pro ranks.

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He was a key component in Europe's Ryder Cup victory over the United States last year when he and Victor Hovland defeated Scheffler and Brooks Koepka with a record 9 and 7 win.

That performance came after his first pro win in the European Masters in Switzerland in September and two months later he had his maiden win on the PGA Tour at the RSM Classic.

Having risen to ninth in the world rankings, Aberg was seen as a contender at Augusta despite his lack of major experience.

His second round of 69, when so many struggled in Friday's high winds, put him in contention for the weekend but while he had to settle for runner-up spot -- and a handy $2,160,000 -- he also said he was able to soak up the experience.

"Playing here at Augusta National is a dream come true. 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," he said.

"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 myself and all of the people on my team and my family and everyone involved."

At a time when golf is riven by the often bitter divide between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the emergence of a new star excites many but he isn't entirely comfortable with being described as the "new face of golf."

"I wouldn't consider myself the face of golf. Absolutely not. Obviously I'm OK with all these things that comes with it. My main focus is to play good golf and all the media things that comes with it is not really up to me," he said.

"All I try to do is make sure that for the next tournament that I come prepared, and I think the experience that I've had this week solidifies that we are doing a lot of good stuff and that we are not going to change a whole lot."

Next month, he will get a chance to go one better in a major at the PGA Championship and it is a prospect he is now relishing.

"This being my first major championship, you never really know what it's going to be like until you're there and experience it," he said. "I think this week has given me a lot of experience and a lot of lessons learned in terms of those things.

"It makes me really hungry, and it makes me want to do it again and again, I think."


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