Ludvig Aberg hopes to follow footsteps of Rose Zhang in pro debut at Canadian Open
In case anyone forgot amid all the madness in professional golf, a PGA Tour event will be played this week.
And that tournament — the RBC Canadian Open — will feature the highly anticipated professional debut of Ludvig Aberg.
The 23-year-old Swede earned his Tour card by finishing No. 1 in the PGA Tour U ranking this year following his senior season at Texas Tech. He also won consecutive Ben Hogan Awards, joining Jon Rahm as the only player to accomplish that feat.
So, hello, world.
“The last couple of weeks has been pretty intense,” Aberg said Wednesday ahead of his pro debut. “But it’s something I’ve been preparing for for a long time and now it’s actually happening. So I’m super happy about that. I think as a competitor you really look forward to playing those big events. And with majors and Ryder Cups being there, I think absolutely it’s in the back of my head. But it’s not something that I can necessarily think about right now. All I can do is prepare as good as I can for this week and do as good practice as I can and then be able or be ready to go on Thursday morning.”
Aberg’s professional welcoming comes on the heels of another highly anticipated pro debut — Rose Zhang’s. The 20-year-old, who had one of the most decorated amateur careers ever while at Stanford, won the LPGA’s Mizuho Americas Open last week, becoming the first female player to win in their pro debut since Beverly Hanson in 1951.
Aberg took notice and would like to follow suit.
"(Zhang is) an unbelievable player, unbelievable person and what she’s done is pretty amazing,” Aberg said. “If I can do something along those lines, I think I’m doing pretty well. But she had obviously a great college career and she’s going to have a great pro career, too. So congrats to her.”
And Aberg’s game has all the tangibles for success at the highest level.
“He hits the ball as good as anybody,” Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl told GolfChannel.com in May. “His putter is as good as anybody. His chipping is as good as anybody. And he acts like a 35-year-old man out there. So I would say overall, he’s kind of got all the pieces. Almost the Megatron of who you would want, that’s kind of what he looks like.”
However, Aberg notes that there’s a learning curve from college to Tour golf — on and off the course. And that’s prevalent this week with the news that the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit will unite. Aberg, though, isn’t getting wrapped up in all that.
“This being my first day on my job. So I don’t, I don’t really know. I mean, there’s a lot of changes going on,” he said. “I don’t necessarily have all that information, so I don’t really know, to be fair.”
He’s just focused on getting in the winner’s circle as much as possible — while being himself throughout the process.
“I’m still going to be the same person,” he said. “I’m not going to change anything like that. Stay true to who I am. See where that takes me.”