Ludvig Åberg Showed Plenty of Signs of Future Greatness at the Masters

Years from now, the Swede's runner-up in his major debut may be viewed as his launching point.
Apr 14, 2024; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Ludvig Aberg acknowledges the gallery after a birdie putt on
Apr 14, 2024; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Ludvig Aberg acknowledges the gallery after a birdie putt on / Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network

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He made a costly mistake at the 11th hole on Sunday, thus costing Sweden’s Ludvig Åberg an opportunity to put pressure on Scottie Scheffler and perhaps make the final holes of the Masters more interesting.

But his four-shot deficit and second-place finish in his first-ever major championship is stuff to be hailed not assailed.

Åberg was the only player to break 70 in Friday’s brutal conditions. His 69 on Sunday for a time saw him tied for the lead but ultimately would have needed to be a 65 to tie Scheffler. And even after that double bogey at the 11th, he managed to make a couple of birdies on the remaining holes, keeping Scheffler honest.

“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,” Åberg 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.”

Both Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, his teammates on the European Ryder Cup team, have said he is a future No. 1 player in the world. And his resume in a short amount of time is impressive.

He has victories on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. He’s been second three times on the PGA Tour, fourth twice and been in the top 25 19 times. In 26 career professional starts, he’s missed one cut. A year ago, he was still playing college golf at Texas Tech.

“Everyone in my position, they are going to want to be major champions,” Åberg said. “They are going to want to be world No. 1s, and it’s the same for me, and that’s nothing different. It’s 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.”

Åberg was attempting to become the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to win the Masters on his first try. He was also breathing some rare air: since 1900, only Francis Ouimet (1913 U.S. Open), Ben Curtis (2003 Open) and Keegan Bradley (2011 PGA Championship) won a major in their first try.


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Bob Harig

BOB HARIG

Bob Harig is a senior golf writer for Sports Illustrated. He has more than 25 years experience covering golf, including 15 at ESPN. Bob is a regular guest on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio and has written two books, DRIVE: The Lasting Legacy of Tiger Woods and Tiger and Phil: Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry. He graduated from Indiana University where he earned an Evans Scholarship, named in honor of the great amateur golfer Charles (Chick) Evans Jr. Bob, a former president of the Golf Writers Association of America, lives in Clearwater, Florida.