Ludvig Aberg’s rapid rise in just three months as a pro was capped Monday when the 23-year-old Swede was selected as one of the European team’s captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup against the United States outside Rome this month.
Luke Donald filled out his team by picking Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and Justin Rose along with three rookies — Aberg, Sepp Straka and Nicolai Hojgaard.
Straka and Hojgaard got the call ahead of Adrian Meronk in what was widely seen as Donald’s toughest decision, but it’s the presence of Aberg that will most excite European golf fans.
He turned pro in June when ranked as the world’s No. 1 amateur and after being named the best college player in the United States for a second straight year at Texas Tech. Aberg posted four top-25 finishes in his first two months on the PGA Tour, then headed back to Europe in a bid to convince Donald he deserved a Ryder Cup call-up.
Winning the European Masters in Switzerland on Sunday by reeling off four straight birdies late in the final round presented a case Donald just couldn’t ignore.
“He showed yesterday in Crans he has the potential to be one of golf’s superstars,” Donald said.
Fleetwood narrowly missed out on automatic selection via the World Points List but was an obvious pick for his third Ryder Cup appearance. It will be the 43-year-old Rose’s sixth appearance while Lowry, another major winner, will be playing in his second straight Ryder Cup.
Straka, ranked No. 23, was rewarded for strong recent form which saw him win the John Deere Classic and tie for second at the British Open in July, then finish tied for sixth at the Tour Championship eight days ago.
Donald said the 78th-ranked Hojgaard got in on the back of three top 10s in his most recent six events.
That meant Meronk missed out despite being a consistent performer on the European tour. He won this year’s Italian Open at the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, where the Ryder Cup is taking place.
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