Ludvig Aberg, Superstar in The Making, Now Plays RBC Heritage at Hilton Head

Ludvig Aberg has all the earmarks of a superstar in the making.
Ludvig Aberg - RBC Heritage
Ludvig Aberg - RBC Heritage / Andrew Redington/GettyImages

Ludvig Aberg just finished second in the Masters and, until the 11th hole on Sunday when he hit his second shot in the water, it looked like he might actually have a chance to overtake Scottie Scheffler. 

“I felt very fortunate to still be playing a major championship. Sunday back nine in contention is what I've dreamt of for my whole career,” Aberg said about the whole experience.  “Even though I made a dumb mistake on 11, I was still in the hunt, and I still felt very fortunate to be in that situation.”

Aberg has a charming speaking manner, which is hard to do in a second language. (Think Bernhard Langer, whose German accent is still present.)  Spending four years at Texas Tech probably had something to do with that.

This year, nearly every course the young Swede plays on the PGA Tour is one he hasn’t seen before. That could lead to a lot of angst, but he’s looking forward to it because playing professional golf is what he has always wanted to do.

“Last week was unbelievable,” he said about his first Masters. “You don't really know what it's going to be like until you actually play in your first major, especially it being the Masters.”   

This week, instead of broad vistas of green at Augusta National, Aberg will face claustrophobic, loblolly pine passageways that hug the narrow golf corridors.  It’s Harbour Town Golf Links, a rather early Pete Dye masterpiece, the one that convinced Deane Beman to hire Dye to build TPC Sawgrass.  It’s where golf television first displayed railroad ties around water hazards and bunkers. Arnold Palmer won the first professional event played on it in 1969, before the PGA Tour was actually formed.

“You have to make sure that you know the angles, especially on a golf course like this where there's a little bit more to it,” he explained.

The course is more subtle than TPC Sawgrass, a later Dye triumph.  For the inside scoop, Aberg relies on the knowledge of his caddie Joe Skovron, who worked for Rickie Fowler for 13 seasons.

“I trust my caddie a lot in those instances,” Aberg said. “I'm leaning on him for all those kinds of informations. He tells me where to hit it, and I try to do that as good as I can.”

The miraculous thing is he can hit it where Skovron tells him to, at least most of the time.

For now, Aberg has the luxury of a two-year exemption for winning the RSM Classic, otherwise known as Davis Love III’s event. That will keep him playing while he learns which courses are the best for his game.

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After this week, he has what he calls a provisional plan. He will play the Wells Fargo, PGA, Memorial, U.S. Open, and Travelers. Then he returns to Europe for a while, and, if he qualifies, he’ll be back for the FedEx Playoffs.