Some people are able to pick up new skills really quickly. Not Ludvig Åberg. The 24-year-old Swede has been a professional for nearly six full months, and he just now captured his first PGA Tour title. What a slacker.
Needing a good week at the RSM Classic to improve his status for the PGA Tour’s 2024 Signature Events, Åberg did something even better: a record-setting performance. With rounds of 67-64-61-61, Åberg tied the PGA Tour’s 72-hole scoring record (253) and shot the lowest 36-hole score to close out a tournament in PGA Tour history (via Justin Ray). The title moves him to No. 32 in the Official World Golf Ranking, secures a spot in the first three Signature Events of 2024, and puts him in a very strong position to appear in all four major championships next year. In short, it was a good weekend to be Ludvig.
Those who have been paying attention, i.e many of you reading this newsletter, won’t be surprised that a 24-year-old rookie put together this kind of performance. Ludvig was one of the most highly touted amateurs in recent memory, thanks in large part to his elite driving ability. He has turned six months as a professional into two wins, a Ryder Cup appearance, and the well-earned reputation as one of the best drivers of the golf ball in the world.
While we will likely be talking about Ludvig’s on-course performances for many years, it’s important to take a step back and appreciate his path to this point. Åberg very well might have succeeded in earning Tour status in limited starts like Collin Morikawa or Jon Rahm did, but Åberg’s route through the relatively new PGA Tour University program made his success more easily attainable. The Tour has made changes to the structure of PGA Tour U over the years, allowing highly rated amateur players more guaranteed starts and access upon turning professional. The program as a whole took a lot longer to get going than many would have liked, and these changes could have come a lot sooner, but the results are undoubtedly paying off.
There is a lot to be excited about with Ludvig Åberg, and we should all take a minute to appreciate his meteoric 2023. But what’s perhaps even more intriguing is the potential for this kind of story to happen more frequently moving forward. So this week, give thanks that the powers that be finally decided to promote rising young talent in the sport. We’re all better off for it.
(Also: if you’re a European Ryder Cup supporter, the combination of Ludvig’s RSM title and Nicolai Højgaard’s DP World Tour Championship win probably has you feeling pretty good this morning.)
This piece originally appeared in The Fried Egg newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.